Protestors march in Tegucigalpa

Anti-corruption protestors in Honduras have called for the United Nations to establish an anti-impunity commission similar to the CICIG in neighboring Guatemala, raising questions as to how realistic and effective such a move would be.

On June 5, thousands of protestors marched through Honduras’ capital city Tegucigalpa, demanding President Juan Orlando Hernandez resign before arriving at the local UN office to ask for the creation of an international commission against impunity, reported Reuters.

Hernandez has come under increasing fire after admitting his 2013 presidential campaign received money from businessmen linked to an embezzlement scandal in the country’s social security administration (IHSS). Hernandez denies responsibility and said he was unaware of the source of the money.

Honduras’ executive office also recently announced the Attorney General will soon begin judicial proceedings into corruption cases involving the country’s property, transport, migration, and customs agencies. The snowballing corruption scandals provoked Honduran protestors to demand a body similar to the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which has been at the forefront of combating impunity in the country and was the driving force behind the corruption investigation that has left the current government reeling.

For a UN international commission to be established in Honduras, however, the Honduran government has to petition the United Nations for its formation. Carlos Hernandez -- Transparency International’s representative in Honduras -- welcomed the possibility of a “CICIH.” Yet he cautioned that such a process would be slow, possibly taking three years, and said more immediate measures to fight corruption and impunity must be taken.

InSight Crime Analysis

In 2007, the CICIG began working to combat impunity and dismantle “parallel” criminal networks in Guatemala. It has played a key role in uncovering recent corruption scandals in Guatemala’s customs agency (SAT) and Social Security Institute (IGSS), with the former leading to the resignation of Vice President Roxana Baldetti.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

These scandals -- and the large protests they have sparked in Guatemala City -- have threatened the foundations of the Guatemalan government, with President Otto Perez Molina increasingly isolated. Guatemala’s Supreme Court is even reportedly reviewing a corruption complaint against Perez, and will decide whether or not it merits stripping him of his immunity from prosecution.

Given the role of CICIG in expediting the political crisis in his next-door neighbor, Hernandez -- and other Honduran elites -- will most certainly be wary of inviting an international body into their country to combat corruption. Especially as many Honduran elites and politicians have been implicated in, or are suspected of, corrupt activities and involvement with organized crime and drug trafficking.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...