The Honduras Police Reform Commission has released a first assessment of the new online denunciation platform in its latest move to try and purge Honduras’ corrupt police, revealing officers were most often accused of abuse of authority and drug related faults.
The commission has received 80 complaints against security forces personnel via the online denunciation platform launched in June as well as other online mechanisms, reported La Prensa. Complainants directly identified 46 police officers.
Of the 80 accusations, 23 percent were related to abuses of authority, 17 percent were drug related, 16 percent concerned illicit enrichment or fraud, 14 percent regarded money laundering and another 14 percent denounced acts of extortion. The next step will be for the Commission to transmit the complaints to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The commission has evaluated nearly 700 police officers since its creation in April, of which nearly 40 percent have been dismissed for various wrongdoings, according to La Prensa. The commission’s latest recommendation to the Secretary ministry (Secretaría de Seguridad) was to discharge 20 officers, which would bring the total of purged policemen to 300.
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The Honduran police had become gangrened by corruption to a crippling point. Recurrent scandals have durably damaged its image, the latest leading to the extradition of five police officers wanted for cocaine trafficking in the United States.
There are nonetheless high expectations surrounding the commissioners work, which seems to be rapidly bearing fruit. Commission members have already gathered evidence of a myriad of crimes committed by police officers, including which extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking and extortion.
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The online denunciation platform is the latest of a series of efforts aimed at ending impunity. But as commendable as those efforts may be, it is highly uncertain that they will succeed in durably enforcing the rule of law within Honduras’ police force due to the structural nature of the corruption.
As InSight Crime previously pointed out, the recently installed, internationally-backed Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Misión de Apoyo Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en Honduras – MACCIH) should constitute a valuable ally for the commission, in part by trying to tackle the broader system of corruption in the country, of which the police force is only one component.