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1,800 police officers go on strike in Honduras

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FREDDY CUEVAS | April 23, 2013 07:19 PM EST | AP

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — About 1,800 police officers in Honduras' capital of Tegucigalpa have gone on strike to demand a pay increase and better working conditions.

Uniformed officers blocked several streets Tuesday with patrol cars near an open air market where they gathered to talk with journalists.

One striker said the 2,500 officers assigned to the capital make about $150 a month. He said that each officer must pay for his or her uniform and bullets and that they get only one day off for every 26 days worked.

The officer also said police stations lack equipment and even toilets. He insisted on not being quoted by name because he fears reprisal.

The striking officers refused to talk to preventive police director Alex Villanueva, who tried to negotiate an end to the walkout.