HomeNewsBriefReport Highlights Corruption in Honduras’ Security Ministry
BRIEF

Report Highlights Corruption in Honduras’ Security Ministry

HONDURAS / 19 NOV 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A new report on mismanagement and lack of transparency within Honduras’ security apparatus highlights the threat of corruption coming from within weak government institutions. 

Conducted by the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ) — the Honduran chapter of Transparency International — the report examined transparency and accountability in Honduras’ Security Ministry. ASJ identified problems in the ministry’s purchasing of equipment and awarding of contracts, as well as its management of human resources. 

Looking at the ministry’s equipment contracts and purchases, ASJ noted poor compliance with regulations and protocols. These tenders and purchases were often rushed, with the ministry overpaying suppliers and service providers, who under delivered. 

For example, bidding on a project to build six police stations was carried out in only 15 days. In another instance officials gave no explanation for choosing Latin American Armor Company as a provider for 13 armored trucks. The ministry paid over $1.5 million to the company even though it did not offer the lowest bid. Moreover, only four of the trucks are currently in the ministry’s possession, ASJ found. 

The report found similarly poor levels of compliance when it came to hiring and firing Security Ministry employees. Of recently hired police, ASJ found only 43 percent (100 out of 230) had passed all the requirements of the police certification process. Additionally, 18 percent of these new hires failed at least one part of the process, such as background checks or polygraph tests, and “should not have been hired.”

In terms of firings, some police officers continued to collect salaries even after being terminated. ASJ also found “vast differences” in police termination databases, with media claims by officials that 3,000 corrupt police had been purged inconsistent with the data reviewed.

In response to the report’s findings, Honduras’ Security Ministry released an improvement plan, which is “to be monitored and evaluated in a consistent and systemic way” every six months by the ASJ and Transparency International.

InSight Crime Analysis

State corruption in Central America is often framed within the context of criminals threatening and influencing officials. Yet ASJ’s report highlights how corruption can emanate from within weak state institutions themselves. 

In this instance, the common theme in the ASJ’s audits of Honduras’ Security Ministry is poor oversight and accountability. Poor oversight allowed officials to act outside of regulations, while poor accountability meant little or no punishment was meted out once corruption and mismanagement came to light. A result of this failure to address corruption and mismanagement is a lack of incentive for improvement, perpetuating institutional weakness.   

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Police Reform

Honduras’ security agencies, particularly their police, have been habitually corrupt. Over the years, police reform has been an intractable issue that has encountered persistent resistance, even from police themselves. This leaves little room for optimism the ASJ’s findings will lead to Honduras’ Security Ministry being able to stamp out corruption and improve transparency. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 23 MAY 2012

Bolivia's police chief has been replaced amid corruption allegations, in a sign of the obstacles facing reform to the country's…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 SEP 2015

Authorities say increasingly modified and modernized handmade firearms have surfaced in Honduras, but the real problem remains the prevalence of…

ELITES AND CRIME / 9 JAN 2020

Recently published messages have offered fresh insight into the plot to murder renowned environmental activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras, laying…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…