HomeNewsBriefFuture of Police Cleanup Law Unclear As Honduras Faces Political Crisis
BRIEF

Future of Police Cleanup Law Unclear As Honduras Faces Political Crisis

HONDURAS / 13 DEC 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

After Congress voted to remove several Supreme Court justices who rejected Honduras' police cleanup law, the future of President Porfirio Lobo's police reform efforts is now uncertain, as the country faces down an institutional and political crisis. 

Congress passed a bill late night on December 11 that would submit the police cleanup law, among other issues, to a popular vote. The next day, they voted 97-31 to remove four Supreme Court justices who'd blocked the police reform law two weeks ago, prompting an intense debate among congressional and legal officials who said the move was illegal.

The proposed police cleanup law would require every officer to submit to polygraph and toxicological tests. It would also require them to take a psychological exam and hand over their financial records. In late November one branch of the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, arguing that it violated due process and did not give police officers a way to appeal their dismissal. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Political tensions are currently running high in Honduras, with the Congressional vice president describing the process as "a high-level political crisis" even before the Supreme Court justices were fired. It's unlikely that the police reform referendum will be voted on before Honduras can solve the current conflict between Congress and the judiciary. If it does end up going to popular vote, this will likely spark another intense political debate, if the judiciary and other legal advisers argue that the referendum process itself is unconstitutional. 

Lobo's government committed to a mass purging of the police force after several officers were implicated in the murder of two university students in November 2011. At the time, the incident shocked the country and called attention to the deeply corrupt elements within the police force. Since then, Honduras committed to submitting hundreds of officers to polygraph tests. 

But progress has been slow: according to Honduras Culture and Politics, only a fraction of the 233 police officers who have failed the polygraph test have actually been dismissed. The Supreme Court has been scheduled to discuss the results of the tests in a meeting Wednesday, but were forced to cancel after Congress voted to remove four out of five of the Court justices. 

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 / 10 MAR 2022

The arrest and possible extradition of a former Honduras police chief suspected of drug trafficking could provide explosive evidence in…

JAMAICA / 1 APR 2021

After recording the highest murder rate in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020, Jamaica is already seeing an uptick…

ELITES AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2021

A high court in Honduras has found one of the intellectual authors of the high-profile murder of renowned Indigenous activist…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…