HomeNewsBriefAnti-Corruption Fight at Stake in Honduras Attorney General Selection
BRIEF

Anti-Corruption Fight at Stake in Honduras Attorney General Selection

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 APR 2018 BY VICTORIA DITTMAR EN

The selection process for the new attorney general in Honduras is already causing concern among civil society organizations due to a shortfall of candidates and the lack of time to choose a suitable replacement to continue the country’s fight against corruption.

On April 25, the Alliance for Peace and Justice (Alianza por la Paz y la Justicia – APJ) and the Association for a More Just Society (Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa – ASJ) organized a forum entitled “For a Five-Star Attorney General,” which was attended by members of Honduran civil society including José Ugaz, former president of Transparency International, and Jorge Padilla, a representative of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos – IIDH).

During the forum, the speakers described the profile they believed the next attorney general of Honduras should have, and demanded that authorities ensure transparency in the selection process as well as sufficient time to reach the best decision.

“We say to the Honduran political class that they have a responsibility not to elect too hastily. They must be conscious when choosing the person to hold the position,” Padilla stated in comments reported by Proceso.

The next attorney general of Honduras will be selected by the Congress before September. But first, the proposal group -- an entity comprised of seven members from judicial, academic and civil society institutions -- must nominate the five best candidates for the job. April 30 is the final day for the proposal group to register the list to be considered by the Congress. However, a few days before the deadline, only two candidates have been registered.

According to Proceso, ASJ’s Carlos Hernández said that if there are not enough candidates before the deadline, the organization will “demand that the proposal group extend the [enrollment] period to get the right number of people and allow them to make the best choice.”

InSight Crime Analysis

This is a decisive year for the future of the battle against corruption and organized crime in the Northern Triangle region of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. All three countries will elect their attorneys general while a series of scandals and accusations dog their political and economic elites.

In Honduras, the next attorney general’s challenge will be to continue the work and investigations started by current Attorney General Óscar Chinchilla, who contributed to the arrests of important organized crime figures like the Valle Valle brothers and Héctor Emilio Fernández Rosa, alias “Don H.”

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Chinchilla also helped to dismantle other support networks for drug trafficking organizations, as in the case of former president Porfirio Lobo’s son Fabio Lobo, who was accused of collaborating with criminal group the Cachiros. Another case involved the same ex-president’s wife, Rosa Elena de Lobo, who was arrested for embezzling nearly $600,000 a few days after her husband’s term ended. Since then, some of the charges against her have been dismissed.

The attorney general’s task is far from easy. Pressure from the Honduran elite has even affected the internationally-backed Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Misión de Apoyo contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en Honduras – MACCIH), which is supported by the Organization of American States (OAS). In February, the head of the MACCIH -- who had contributed to investigations into political figures allegedly involved in graft and drug trafficking -- resigned his post one month after congress passed a law that would interfere with the mission’s investigations against an embezzlement ring made up of Honduran legislators.

The next attorney general will have to face similar obstacles in which the political elite is pitted against anti-corruption efforts, which is why it is important for the chosen candidate to be suitable for the position, and independent -- a person who will not give in to the interests of politicians or organized crime.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 17 FEB 2021

Los Huistas, a Guatemalan drug trafficking group connected to a number of government officials, has continued to build its network…

BRAZIL / 30 NOV 2020

A government raid on an illegal gold mine in northern Brazil freed 39 people working in conditions of slavery and…

COCAINE / 24 FEB 2021

Eight Democratic senators have sent the first signals that the United States will divorce itself from Honduras President Juan Orlando…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…