HomeNewsBriefHonduras Guilty Verdict Shows Something is Working

Honduras Guilty Verdict Shows Something is Working


A former national judge from Honduras' special court system designed to handle high profile cases against gangs and members of organized crime has been found guilty for accepting a bribe, a positive sign that the country's Attorney General's Office is starting to purge the judicial system.

The judge, Wendy Caballero, and her brother were found guilty of accepting up to $90,000 in bribes on December 4, reported El Heraldo.

The bribery charges are linked to Caballero’s decision to issue house arrest for Alexander Montes Aguilar, alias "Moncho," an alleged drug trafficker and gang leader.

Caballero was captured with a bundle of cash in December 2013, at the San Pedro Sula airport, after returning from California. She faces up to nine years in jail for the crime. 

The verdict against the judge and her brother comes a month after a Honduran political power broker was arrested on bribery charges. On November 3, Roberto Turcios Funez, was arrested for "continuous" bribery of 43 people, according to El Heraldo. Funez was a prominent businessman and had served as a political aide to former president Roberto Micheletti.

InSight Crime Analysis

The cases against both Caballero and Funez indicate that something is working in the Attorney General's Office. In addition to Caballero, Attorney General Oscar Chinchilla's office told InSight Crime that it has charged three other judges who worked at the same special courts as Caballero.

They are also investigating the vice president of the National Judicial Council, which names these judges and others to their posts, for similar charges. 

In all, Chinchilla's office says it has gotten 50 guilty verdicts in corruption cases during the first 24 months of its mandate, compared to 45 guilty verdicts in the previous 19 years. 

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

The irony is that just as the Attorney General's Office shows some life, the international community is clamoring for a stronger, more direct international role in judicial matters in the country. Specifically, the country is in the complicated process of developing an anti-corruption and anti-impunity body.

The so-called Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Mision de Apoyo Contra la Corrupcion y la Impunidad en Honduras - MACCIH) is modeled after the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comision Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG).

Despite the CICIG's success in that country (or perhaps because of it), the MACCIH may face major obstacles and may actually be counterproductive in Honduras. 

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.


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.


Related Content

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…


In 2020, the US Department of Justice released a bombshell indictment charging sitting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other senior…


Dominican officials have banned 12 Haitian gang leaders and one of its top politicians from entering the country.

About InSight Crime


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…