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. 

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 FEB 2012

22 anti-tank grenade launchers that have gone missing from military stockpiles may have fallen into the hands of criminal groups,…

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 MAY 2020

The recent murder of Hugo Pinto Aguilar, a former congressman for Honduras' ruling National Party, suggests a shift in criminal…

MARIJUANA / 15 MAY 2017

A network of corrupt police officials allegedly involved in a major bribery scheme in Paraguay has been dismantled, further…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…