HomeNewsBriefHonduran Court Declares Police Cleanup Law Unconstitutional
BRIEF

Honduran Court Declares Police Cleanup Law Unconstitutional

HONDURAS / 29 NOV 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The Honduran Supreme Court has declared a law aimed at cleaning up the country's notoriously corrupt police force to be unconstitutional on the same day that the government sought to extend that very legal measure, adding yet another barrier to law enforcement reform in Honduras.

The law had laid out the procedures under which the government could purge the National Police of corrupt elements. However, on November 26, a five-member body known as the Constitutional Branch of the Honduran Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional

The court had its reasons. While the law required every police officer to undergo an extensive vetting process -- including background checks, drug tests and lie detector tests, and stipulated that failure of any of these is grounds for removal from the force -- it also made it impossible for officers to appeal the dismissal.

The ruling came on the same day that the law expired. President Porfirio Lobo called on congress to pass an extension of it. Because the branch's ruling was not unanimous (a four-to-one decision), the final say on the law will now go to the full Supreme Court, comprised of 15 judges. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The ruling is just the latest obstacle to police reform efforts in the country, home to one of the most corrupt police forces in the region. While President Lobo initiated an ambitious reform program last year, creating an independent commission to oversee the effort, progress has been slow. Only a fraction of the estimated 14,000 police officers in the country have been vetted, and the process itself has come under political and legal fire.

In October, in just one of the latest efforts to derail the reform, a number of police officials accused the head of police, Juan Carlos Bonilla, of pursuing a political agenda in dismissing certain officers. 

Regardless of their merit, these allegations have served to distract reform efforts, which are badly needed. In 2011, one congressman said that 40 percent of police officers had links to 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

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

The party that has governed Honduras since 2010 has become a federation that welcomes politicians and officials involved in criminal…

COCAINE / 29 JUL 2022

The case of a Honduran broker who laundered cartel money has shed light on the importance of US banks.

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 JUL 2022

Son of former Honduras President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa by a well-armed commando has shocked the country.

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…