HomeNewsBriefNew Allegations Highlight Continuing Corruption in Honduras Police
BRIEF

New Allegations Highlight Continuing Corruption in Honduras Police

HONDURAS / 12 JAN 2017 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

Authorities in Honduras have dismantled several networks of allegedly corrupt law enforcement officers, a positive sign for the country's efforts to purge its police institution but also a reminder of the depth and breadth of corruption in the force.

Thirteen out of the total of 67 officials allegedly on the payroll of the powerful MS13 gang were high-ranking members of the police, La Prensa reported based on official information from a joint investigation by Honduras, the United States and Colombia. Among the accused are a general, two general commissioners and four sub-commissioners.

The officers were reportedly involved in extortion, murder, bank robberies, auto theft, kidnapping and drug trafficking. The joint investigation also unearthed a network of 28 officials who would allegedly delete gang members' records and provide them with driving licenses bearing fake names for prices ranging between 10,000 and 14,000 Lempiras (equivalent to between roughly $420 and $630).

The same joint investigation also alleged that dozens of police officers trafficked hundreds of firearms to the gangs between 2012 and 2016, according to a separate La Prensa article. And once again, authorities assert that the corruption reached the highest levels of the police institution, with high-ranking officers turning a blind eye to the weapons trafficking.

On January 11, just days after the revelations by La Prensa, a special police reform commission established last year fired 490 police officers for failing confidence examinations, El Heraldo reported.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the investigation and firing of hundreds of officers serve as further positive signs of progress in cleaning up the country's law enforcement institutions, the allegations of continuing high-level corruption in the police highlight the magnitude of the issue and the considerable challenges that remain.

One major challenge is finding suitable replacements for officers removed from the force. Authorities plan to double the size of the national police by 2022, and as InSight Crime previously pointed out, this goal will be difficult to achieve due to resource constraints. Additionally, the ambitious effort could actually exacerbate corruption in the force if new recruits are not properly vetted and trained.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Police Reform

Moreover, the police reform commission's mandate does not include prosecuting officers dismissed for corruption. Honduras' justice system is thus facing a sizeable number of corruption cases that it will have to try in order to hold corrupt officials to account, and there are reasonable doubts as to the judiciary's capacity to do so. By September 2016 and within six month of its existence, the commission had already referred 500 police corruption cases to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution. In the absence of convictions, however, there is a risk that the dismissed police officers could be re-hired or simply join the ranks of 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

ECUADOR / 16 MAY 2022

Ecuadorian gangs are taking another page from the playbook of crime groups in Mexico and Colombia, stepping up targeted killings…

HONDURAS / 15 FEB 2021

Honduras, long one of the poorest countries in Latin America, is now also among the most violent and crime-ridden. The…

EL SALVADOR / 13 DEC 2021

Efforts to reduce gang violence are often thought of as highly dependent on local conditions, but a recent report looks…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…