TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduras' ruling party said it will cooperate with prosecutors' investigation into allegations public funds were illegally diverted to the 2013 campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The National Party issued a statement Wednesday after the investigation was announced by Honduran prosecutors and an anti-corruption mission sponsored by the Organization of American States. The party says no one can be above the law and that the responsibility to fight corruption is individual.
Authorities sought 38 arrest warrants from the country's supreme court in relation to the case, but did not provide any names.
Prosecutors say $11.7 million was diverted from the agriculture ministry to political parties through nonprofit organizations.
Part of the money allegedly was used for a discount card distributed by Hernandez's campaign.
Some is also alleged to have gone to the opposition Liberal party.
The Liberal party leader in 2013 and current congressman, Elvin Santos, said "this is all a political ploy that will soon be cleared up."
In a previous, separate scandal, some of the $300 million embezzled from the country's Social Security Institute also wound up in Hernandez' 2013 campaign.
Political analyst Hector Becerra noted that "the traditional parties, the National and Liberal parties, have historically looted the country."
Lester Ramirez, the Honduras representative of Transparency International, noted that "never before gave they brought charges against high-ranking officials like they have now ... and that is good for Honduras."