HomeNewsBriefReport Highlights Need for Independent Anti-Graft Body in Honduras
BRIEF

Report Highlights Need for Independent Anti-Graft Body in Honduras

ELITES AND CRIME / 23 FEB 2018 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

A new report says that an anti-graft body in Honduras has secured prosecutions in only a small fraction of the cases it has investigated in recent years, illustrating the weakness of Honduran institutions when it comes to anti-corruption measures.

Honduras' National Anti-Corruption Council (Consejo Nacional Anticorrupción – CNA) initiated a total of 67 investigations into corruption between 2014 and 2017 but secured prosecutions in just 10 of them, according to a February 22 report from the organization.

The CNA was created by a 2005 law with the stated objective of supporting the government's anti-corruption efforts. Representatives from 12 groups, some of which include members of the country’s economic elite, run the CNA.

Among other things in the report, the CNA presented eight specific investigations into public contracts given to private businesses in Honduras in 2017 alone, which cost the state over 195 million lempiras (more than $8 million) in losses.

One of the cases highlighted in the report is the alleged diversion of 12 million lempiras (more than $500,000) of public funds into a personal account of former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo, the wife of former Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. According to the report, Bonilla de Lobo transferred 12 million lempiras in public funds to a personal account just days before the end of her husband’s term as president.

Former President Lobo has been accused of corruption and accepting bribes from the powerful Cachiros drug trafficking network in Honduras. While Lobo has denied these allegations, the country’s internationally-backed Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Misión de Apoyo contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en Honduras – MACCIH) is reportedly closing in on the former president’s alleged criminal activities.

In total, the CNA report found that corruption networks in Honduras cost the state 2.9 billion lempiras (nearly $125 million) in losses between 2014 and 2017.

InSight Crime Analysis

The recent report provides further evidence that domestic institutions in Honduras lack the ability to effectively combat corruption, underscoring the importance of independent bodies like the MACCIH in tackling graft in the Central American nation.

Although the CNA's role is ostensibly to root out corruption in Honduras, its own report shows that it has had little impact. As freelance journalist Sandra Cuffe explained on Twitter, this is likely because the institution itself is beholden to elite interests that could be involved in corruption.

“The CNA is so full of powerful business and political interests that it's almost hard to think of an institution worse positioned to do any kind of impartial investigation into corruption networks in Honduras,” Cuffe wrote.

SEE ALSO: Honduras Elites and Organized Crime

The failure of homegrown Honduran institutions to score lasting victories in the fight against graft was a major reason for the establishment of the MACCIH. And in other cases, namely Guatemala, independent anti-graft bodies have made significant progress in addressing widespread corruption and impunity.

However, MACCIH head Juan Jiménez Mayor recently resigned due to what he claimed was a lack of support from the Organization of American States (OAS), the mission’s parent institution, as well as consistent pushback from elites opposed to its anti-corruption efforts. The resignation raised doubts about the future of anti-graft initiatives in Honduras, where the current President Juan Orlando Hernández is himself facing corruption allegations following a victory in last year's election that was marred by reports of fraud.

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

BARRIO 18 / 12 APR 2017

A new report by a leading watchdog and policy group says that Central America's Northern Triangle governments should find a…

CACHIROS / 19 JUN 2015

After years of relative stability, the agreements that once governed Honduras' criminal underworld are reportedly falling apart, a development that…

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Cortés is a major organized crime hub. Vast quantities of drugs, arms, and contraband pass through the department’s busy Atlantic…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…