Former Honduran Security Min Alvarez Denies Link to Criminals

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Former Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, who left office abruptly in September, has denied allegations of corruption and accusations that elements in his office colluded with organized crime.

In a television appearance this week, Alvarez (pictured to the left) dismissed allegations made by the director of the National Autonomous University of Honduras, Julietta Castellanos, that his team “was in collusion with drug traffickers,” the Honduran daily El Heraldo reports.

Alvarez’s resignation was a surprise since he was viewed by some as one of President Porfirio Lobo’s closest advisers.

News reports in September said that Alvarez was forced to quit because of tensions between his office and the leadership of the National Police. Alvarez, who claimed the Honduran police are thoroughly infiltrated by criminal groups, had made concerted efforts to purge the police of corrupt elements.

Speaking of his departure in his recent television appearance, Alvarez said he “could not say” if the threat of an uprising against the government by the former director of the National Police, Jose Luis Munoz Licona, and other senior officers, led President Lobo to force him from office.

“Some police officers told the President that my plans were to destroy the police. I just wanted a clean and pure police, based on the experience of Colombia,” he said.

In late October, President Lobo announced a new security plan and pledged to remove “bad apples” in National Police.

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