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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
    HomeNewsHeadlinesUN experts arrive in Honduras to explore anti-corruption mission installation

    UN experts arrive in Honduras to explore anti-corruption mission installation


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    A team of UN experts has arrived in Honduras to assess the possibility of establishing an international anti-corruption mission in the country, as announced by Honduran authorities on Sunday. Corruption is rampant in Honduras, exacerbating poverty and contributing to immigration issues. The mission aims to address these challenges by combating corruption effectively.

    The leftist President Xiomara Castro, during her election campaign, promised to establish an anti-corruption commission known as the International Commission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (CICIH). However, civil society groups have expressed frustration over delays in the process, as the government and the United Nations have yet to reach an agreement on the commission’s scope, despite Castro being in office for a year and a half.

    Last December, Castro’s government signed a letter of intent with the UN to promote the installation of the mission in Honduras. The country loses approximately $3 billion annually due to corruption, and 74% of the population lives in poverty according to local authorities, making the need for the commission urgent.

    Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina stated that negotiations with the UN mission would begin to determine the conditions for the installation of the international anti-corruption body. He emphasized the government’s aspiration for the commission to have autonomy in prosecuting corruption cases.

    The duration of the mission’s stay in Honduras and its meetings with various sectors have not been specified thus far.

    The UN has previously called for the repeal or reform of certain laws that hinder the Public Ministry’s ability to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials and legislators, as well as money laundering cases. Another major point of contention in negotiations is the independence of the CICIH to conduct thorough investigations into crimes.

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    If established, the CICIH would become the second anti-corruption commission operating in Honduras. In 2016, the Mission to Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) was established with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Obama administration.

    The MACCIH was instrumental in revealing corruption among officials, legislators, and politicians, especially those associated with former President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Hernandez was later extradited to the United States on drug trafficking charges after leaving power in early 2022. However, the mission came to an end in 2020 after the OAS failed to reach an agreement with the Hernandez government to extend its stay.

    Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Anna-Catherine Brigida; Editing by Leslie Adler

    Credit: The Star : News Feed

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