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Honduran opposition party leader escapes arrest after being stopped at airport before traveling to US – Magazine Creations

TEGUSIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — The president of Honduras’ main opposition party fled the international airport Tuesday by breaking through a parking gate in his truck after immigration agents stopped him for having two passports before boarding a flight to the United States, the authorities said.

David Chavez Madison, president of the National Party, left Palmerola International Airport around 3 a.m. Tuesday, leaving his passports behind when immigration agents called him in for a second inspection, Alan Alvarenga, director of the Honduran immigration service.

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Chavez left the terminal wearing a black baseball cap, black jacket and black pants, according to images released by authorities.

The passport issue, however, may not have been Chavez’s main problem.

Xiomara Castro has been accused by the Honduran opposition of eroding the country’s system of checks and balances. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)

Hours later, a judge ordered Chavez’s arrest based on an investigation into a 2016 complaint by the non-governmental National Anti-Corruption Council alleging irregularities during Chavez’s time as director of the National Vocational Training Institute, a government agency that manages training programs workforce.

The alleged irregularities relate to a 2012 and 2013 bidding process that awarded a significantly inflated contract to build regional education centers in several Honduran cities, said Yuri Mora, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

Security Minister Gustavo Sanchez said at a press conference on Tuesday that investigations into Chavez are ongoing.

Chavez knew he was under investigation and held a news conference Monday to dismiss it as political prosecution.

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Honduras has been in political turmoil as President Xiomara Castro’s ruling party sought to exert control over the judicial system. Castro’s allies in Congress appointed an interim attorney general, a move that analysts and constitutional scholars have called illegal.

The opposition, including Chavez, has accused Castro of consolidating power and eroding the country’s system of checks and balances.

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