HomeNewsBriefIn Honduras, a Congressman's Threats Scream of Desperation
BRIEF

In Honduras, a Congressman's Threats Scream of Desperation

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 AUG 2018 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

A congressman in Honduras has blamed a prominent Honduran NGO for the decision by members of the US Congress to request an investigation of his alleged ties to drug traffickers, highlighting how elites often employ tactics of diversion and delegitimization when put in legal jeopardy.

In an August 2 interview with the television news channel TN5, Óscar Nájera, a long-serving congressman from the department of Cólon, reacted to the request from the US Congress by criticizing the Association for a More Just Society (Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa - ASJ), a Honduran civil society group that has worked with InSight Crime and that serves as the local chapter of Transparency International.

Nájera, who belongs to the governing National Party (Partido Nacional), accused ASJ's leaders of spurring the move by the US Congress. The congressman denied wrongdoing, and called the group "truly shameless."

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

The broadside came in response to an August 2 letter signed by several members of the US Congress that requested that President Donald Trump consider sanctioning six individuals accused of participating in corruption in Central America, including Nájera.

The letter cited evidence suggesting Nájera had a corrupt relationship with the Cachiros crime group, a largely dismantled organization with a stronghold in Colón that was once a significant player in the international drug trade.

ASJ responded on August 6 to Nájera's rhetorical attack by releasing a statement condemning his comments.

"The actions of Congressman Nájera encourage hatred and animosity by those who, like him, are being accused of having committed unlawful acts or are being prosecuted by judicial bodies in Honduras and abroad," the organization wrote.

InSight Crime Analysis

Nájera's response to the move by the US Congress fits into a broader pattern of elites accused of corruption trying to muddy the waters by impugning the reputations of others.

InSight Crime knows firsthand what this looks like. Enrique Rais, a Salvadoran businessman whose name appeared in the recent letter from Congress, unsuccessfully sued InSight Crime Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos for defamation after Silva published articles about Rais' alleged involvement in criminal activities.

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Elites have also taken these types of counteroffensives online, utilizing "armies of trolls" to propagate messages aiming to discredit the work of those fighting against corruption and to sow doubt about the veracity of allegations against them.

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

ECUADOR / 19 AUG 2022

Two subjects on a motorcycle attacked prosecutor Federico Estrella outside his home in Babahoyo, Los Ríos, on August 15. Estrella…

COSTA RICA / 22 JUN 2021

At a time when elites are undermining anti-graft efforts across Central America, prosecutors in Costa Rica have launched a far-reaching…

ELITES AND CRIME / 19 JAN 2022

A Guatemalan judge recently heralded by the US State Department as a “woman of courage” says she is being attacked…

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…