World

Arrest order issued for vice president of Honduran Congress in health corruption scandal

  • Former Honduras President  Juan Manuel Zelaya, marches with members of the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) to protest against recent government corruption scandals and also to mark the 6th anniversary of the 2008 military overthrow of  Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The current government has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

    Former Honduras President Juan Manuel Zelaya, marches with members of the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) to protest against recent government corruption scandals and also to mark the 6th anniversary of the 2008 military overthrow of Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The current government has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)  (The Associated Press)

  • People belonging to the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) march to protest against recent government corruption scandals and also to mark the 6th anniversary of the 2008 military overthrow of President Juan Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The current government has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. Another scandal involves selling overpriced or defective medicines to the government. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

    People belonging to the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) march to protest against recent government corruption scandals and also to mark the 6th anniversary of the 2008 military overthrow of President Juan Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The current government has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. Another scandal involves selling overpriced or defective medicines to the government. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousands march in support of President Juan Orlando Hernandez in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. President Hernandezs has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. Another scandal involves selling overpriced or defective medicines to the government. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

    Thousands march in support of President Juan Orlando Hernandez in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. President Hernandezs has been under pressure over a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of as much as $120 million from the Central American country's Social Security Institute. Another scandal involves selling overpriced or defective medicines to the government. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)  (The Associated Press)

Honduras' Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of the vice president of Congress and 15 other people accused of defrauding the country's health care system in a corruption scandal that has sparked large street protests.

Court President Jorge Rivera said Tuesday the arrest warrant for lawmaker Lena Gutierrez, her father, two brothers and 12 others was issued to prevent them from leaving the country.

Gutierrez is a member of the governing National Party and has said she will prove her innocence. She and her family she own Astropharma, a company described as a wholesaler of medicines made by pharmaceutical companies.

The scandal involves alleged embezzlement that cost the Social Security Institute as much as $120 million. At least some of the money allegedly went to finance governing party political campaigns.