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 Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Rodrigo Tovar Pupo never imagined it would come to this: dressed in an orange jumpsuit in a Washington DC courtroom and standing in front of a United States federal judge, the grandson of a wealthy Colombian cattle rancher and nephew to a governor was facing a possible...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

As it tends to happen in Honduras, the news began as a well-heeled rumor: Javier Rivera Maradiaga, the oldest of the three Rivera Maradiaga brothers still alive and leader of the feared and powerful Honduran drug trafficking group known as the Cachiros, had handed himself in to...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Like any arm of the justice system, the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) had its battles with elites who used their charm and their muscle to try to influence what and who the celebrated commission...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala is Central America’s most populous country and its largest economy. But an intransigent elite, an ambitious military and a weak state has opened the way for organized crime to flourish, especially since the return of democracy.

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

In the northwest corner of Guatemala, a little known criminal organization known as the "Huistas" dominates the underworld, in large part due its ties with businessmen, law enforcement officials and politicians.

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

This project defines organized crime as: a structured group of people that associate on a regular and prolonged basis to benefit from illicit activities and illegal markets. This group can be local, national or transnational in nature, and its existence is maintained using violence and threats; corruption...

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago with a population of about 60,000. In general, it was a very low crime city, which is perhaps why many mobsters made their homes there, among them...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

On the morning of April 5, 1988, Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros left his palatial Tegucigalpa estate for a jog. Matta Ballesteros was wanted for murder, drug trafficking and other crimes in several countries, but in Honduras he felt safe. He regularly hosted parties for high-level officials at...

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

By the end of 1993, Pablo Escobar was cornered. The cocaine king -- known as "El Patrón" -- was running out of money and options. His top assassins were either dead or had turned themselves in. Almost all of the senior members of the Medellín Cartel were...