Particularly unique about the dynamics of police corruption in Honduras is the reported involvement of so many police in violent crime. The officers were reportedly involved in extortion, murder, bank robberies, auto theft, kidnapping and drug trafficking. An investigation by InSight Crime and Transparency International Honduras (also known as La Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa) has found that many of these guns come from Honduran military and police stockpiles. So desperate is the situation for many that hundreds of thousands of citizens have chosen to migrate. Moreover, the police reform commission’s mandate does not include prosecuting officers dismissed for corruption. To reach that point, Hondurans will have to find new ways to fight back. As analyst James Bosworth asked: “What’s the answer when the police refuse to reform and the political system can’t or won’t force them to do so?” This question will likely remain unanswered for a while yet. Hernández has also faced dissent and opposition to several of his policies, such as the privatization of the health and education systems. In a highly controversial move, the newly minted chief of Honduras’ national police force, Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, has announced that 4,000 police officers will be discharged from the force in an attempt to purge it of the endemic corruption and impunity that has plagued the country. Severe national and international pressure forced the Government to sign an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2016, establishing the Mission to Fight Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH). Ironically, Bonilla has been accused of the same iniquity that he pledges to eradicate from the police force. Dismissing existing officers, while simultaneously attempting to hire and train competent replacements, will be expensive and most certainly result is a loss of experience and skill. left at least 23 dead, most at the hands of security forces, including two women and two children. Journalists are often victims of threats and violence, and at least two journalists were killed in 2014 due to their reporting (FotP 2015). On January 11, just days after the revelations by La Prensa, a special police reform commission established last year fired 490 police officers for failing confidence examinations, El Heraldo reported. In both Brazil and Honduras, the allegations are that police are deeply embedded in the very criminal structures they are tasked with dismantling. The last two years have seen Honduras struggling with almost constant social unrest, institutional crisis and political instability. Bolivia y la autocrítica necesaria: “No basta con tener el gobierno, hay que tener el poder popular”, El neoliberalismo radical nació y morirá en Chile, Radical neoliberalism was born and will die in Chile, Nicaragua, atacada por seguir las mismas políticas de EE.UU. The topic is a controversial one and led to a coup in 2009. Efforts to create a fully independent police monitoring body to aide in the purge of corrupt officials is a step in the right direction. Photo. This is especially true considering the starting salary for police in Honduras is only $250 per month. Transparency International ranks the country as 132/180 around the world for corruption, and it has a 29/100 in the corruption perceptions index. Click here to send InSight Crime your comments. He was on trial in New York for managing a drug trafficking corridor with Mayor Amilcar Alexander Ardón Soriano of El Paraíso, Copán. This points to an especially troubling characteristic of police corruption, in which the authorities are used to enforce state-sponsored repression, as academic Dana Frank recently argued in the New York Times. Officers often engage in extortion and other abuses of power (FitW 2015). The commission should merge into a permanent committee responsible for investigating accusations of police corruption, brutality, and impunity brought to them by the public. Corrupt officers in the Honduras police force have reportedly moved far beyond taking bribes or tipping off criminal gangs; they have been accused of acting as killers and enforcers for the country’s criminal interests. In 2019, more than half of Hondurans agree that the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Hernández’s campaigns were allegedly financed with $1.6 million of Mayor Ardón’s drug money. In spite of the many corruption scandals at the highest levels of government, the number of Hondurans who believe they can make a difference in the fight against corruption is 78 per cent. An increasing number of high-ranking Honduran officials are facing criminal indictment in the US, including Juan Antonio Hernández, the President´s brother, who the US Department of Justice describes as a ¨large scale drug trafficker¨. The commission would be headed by three co-chairs—representing the Honduran people, the legislature, and the police force—who would oversee the hearings and present recommendations to the new police chief. A 2009 Human Rights Watch report put the estimate at one person killed for every 23 arrests in Brazil; in contrast, the figure is one to every 37,000 in the United States. Ever since the Corruption Perceptions Index started measuring public sector corruption, Honduras has not been able to escape the category of a highly corrupt country. New Allegations Highlight Continuing Corruption in Honduras Police, Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime The goal of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras is to support Hondurans in fighting against corruption among those in power. The institution suffers from underfunding, poorly trained staff, ineffectiveness, high levels of corruption, political influence, and intimidation and pressure from patronage networks (HRR 2015). Students block a road in Tegucigalpa during a protest against the government of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Gifts are illegal, yet the practice is widespread, and the use of bribery is an established part of doing business. The courts are inefficient in settling disputes and challenging government regulations; for example, enforcing a contract in Honduras is time-consuming in comparison to regional averages, taking 920 days (GCR 2015-2016; DB 2016). The tax administration carries a high risk of corruption; irregular payments and bribes are widespread when meeting tax officials (GCR 2015-2016). In parallel to the constitutional and social crisis, a wave of high-level corruption scandals have come to light, both fueled by and contributing to the political instability. Public procurement is a very high-risk sector. Last Wednesday, a United States prosecutor labelled him a co-conspirator to a drug trafficking affair run by his younger brother, Tony Hernández. In a clear attempt to avoid justice, members of congress stopped the judicial process by introducing articles into the annual budget law, transferring jurisdiction to another organ, and forcing the judge to close and file the case. European banks in money laundering scandals: what lessons for the EU? The joint investigation also unearthed a network of 28 officials who would allegedly delete gang members’ records and provide them with driving licenses bearing fake names for prices ranging between 10,000 and 14,000 Lempiras (equivalent to between roughly $420 and $630). Honduras has been a candidate country to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative since 2013. contra la injerencia extranjera, Podcast documents first-hand witness of the Senkata Massacre in Bolivia, Latin America: Water Politics, Coups and James Bond. Political leaders are fighting vigorously to maintain the status quo through impunity pacts and regressive legislation that halts anti-corruption efforts. All this will make police reform in Honduras a far more difficult task. A majority of the migrant caravan in 2018 were from Honduras. Reports claim that police were involved in the murder of Villatoro, a close confidant of President Porfirio Lobo.(2). Transparency at the border is very poor, and bribes and irregular payments are widespread when trading across borders (GETR 2014; GCR 2015-2016). However, enforcement is lacking, and several cases have revealed widespread impunity. Ardón ran a trafficking network called the “Alex Cartel” and was eventually indicted in early January. COHA’s mission actively promotes the common interests of the hemisphere, raises the visibility of regional affairs and increases the importance of the inter-American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies towards Latin America. The information age has increased exposure of corruption at the highest levels of government, and Honduras has started seeing some of these untrusted and historically “untouchable” leaders being brought to justice. Police Internal Affairs Commissioner Santos Simeon Flores told the Miami Herald that as of November 2011, his unit received 1,000 complaints against the police for the year. Among the accused are a general, two general commissioners and four sub-commissioners. The three men supposedly had met before the Honduran presidential elections in 2014 and 2017. Meanwhile, the Honduran people will continue suffering, protesting and fleeing. Bonilla has had his own issues with corruption and impunity, which should cast immediate doubt on the integrity of the purge. Corrupt police officials in Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala, for example, on the whole have a far less direct role in criminal activities, receiving bribes from gangs to look the other way, allowing criminals or drug shipments to pass through checkpoints unchecked and/or tipping off gang members to potential sting operations.


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