Honduras demands an international Commission against Impunity: belligerent and committed in the fight against corruption and impunity.
The Coalition Against Impunity, a network of civil society organizations with the shared goal of protecting and defending human rights, observes the deteriorating economic and social situation in Honduras with great concern, particularly acts of corruption and impunity at the national level.
The events related to the pillaging of funds from the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS), which according to reports, exceeded 350 million dollars, comes on top of a crisis in the banking system originated by money laundering; it is public knowledge that in the social security system embezzlement scandal, a criminal structure intervened, re-routing funds to the National Party’s political structure. In both cases, the Honduran justice system failed; its authorities have been inefficient, lacking political will to detect these actions on time and punish them in an exemplary fashion.
These acts of corruption have opened a debate in Honduran society about the actions of the institutions of the justice system, including the need for an inclusive and genuine political dialogue and the importance of putting an international mechanism in place to help attack structural corruption and the growing impunity that prevails in Honduras.
Without consensus or genuine dialogue, the government has decided to implement the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), with the support of the OAS, as requested by the President of the Republic. This obstructs the demands expressed by the majority in the protests of the Indignados movement, demanding the creation of a mechanism similar to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) – – an International Commission Against Impunity in Honduras (CICIH), with the support of the United Nations (UN).
In addition to not emerging from genuine political dialogue, the MACCIH is limited in its ability to attack corruption and impunity in the country. Its main purpose is to supervise and give technical support to the Public Ministry and the Justice System through the support of a group of ex-prosecutors and international jurists; preparing a diagnosis of the current situation of justice in Honduras; accompanying the implementation of the Interamerican Convention against Corruption; and the creation of a justice observatory. These, among others, constitute the principal goals of this proposal.
The Coalition Against Impunity, as well as wide sectors of society, and opposition political parties, consider that the proposal for a MACCIH is a mechanism lacking functional or budgetary independence, which would give rise to government interference in its actions. But above all, this mechanism lacks an effective mandate to strongly and decidedly attack the scandalous corruption that is corroding the public institutions of Honduras, not to mention the tremendous limitations – that have been laid out – to attack impunity and dismantle criminal structures that function parallel to the state apparatus.
Instead of a MACCIH, the Coalition Against Impunity, together with other organizations, advocates for a mechanism like the CICIG, underscoring the importance of a similar mandate and the transfer of experience that we could use in our country. We demand an International Commission Against Impunity, with a mandate that includes the following:
-Political independence and financial autonomy to avoid any interference or limitation of its actions.
-Capacity to investigate and gather evidence of criminal acts and illegal structures that function in the state apparatus. These should be provided to the Public Ministry to strengthen its prosecution abilities.
-The capacity for criminal prosecution together with the Public Ministry in emblematic cases of corruption, impunity, or extreme human rights violations.
-Building capacity of the Public Ministry and Judicial apparatus.
-Development of proposals to support the necessary reforms in the Honduran judicial system.
The marked weaknesses of the institutions in the Honduran judicial system currently demand the installation of an independent International Commission with a high level of technical and legal capacity to contribute to an efficient and committed struggle against corruption and impunity.
It is imperative to act now to stop the alarming criminality and revert the deterioration of democratic institutions.
October 28, 2015
COALITION AGAINST IMPUNITY- Made up of the following organzations: Asociación LGTB Arcoiris de Honduras; Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (AJD); Asociación Intermunicipal de Desarrollo y Vigilancia Social de Honduras (AIDEVISH); Asociación Nacional de Personas viviendo con SIDA (ASONAPVSIDA); CARITAS – Diócesis de San Pedro Sula; Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (CDM); Centro de Educación y Prevención en Salud, Sexualidad y Sida )CEPRES); Colectivo Gemas; Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa; Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH); Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos de El Progreso (COFAMIPRO); Comité por la Libre Expresión C-Libre; Comunidad Gay Sampedrana para la Salud Integral; Convergencia por los Derechos Humanos de la Zona Nor Occidental; Crisálidas de Villanueva; Equipo de Monitoreo Independiente de Honduras (EMIH); Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC); Feministas Universitarias; Frente Amplio del COPEMH; Foro de Mujeres por la Vida; Foro Social de la Deuda Externa y Desarrollo de Honduras (FOSDEH); JASS en Honduras; Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (MADJ); Movimiento Diversidad en Resistencia (MDR); Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla”; Red de Mujeres Jóvenes de Cortés; Red de Mujeres Unidas de Colonia “Ramón Amaya Amador”; Red de Participación de Organizaciones de Sociedad Civil Siguatepeque (RPOSC); Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras; Tribuna de Mujeres contra los Femicidios.