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Arrest order issued for vice president of Honduran Congress on fraud charges

Thousands march in support of President Juan Orlando Hernández in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. President Hernández 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 Hernández in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, June 28, 2015. President Hernández 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)

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 Gutiérrez, her father, two brothers and 12 others was issued to prevent them from leaving the country.

Gutiérrez 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.

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