International Human Rights Federation denounces corruption scandal in Honduras

End impunity: Corruption continues to affect the health of Hondurans

FIDH denounces and condemns the violations of the right to health of the Hondurans resulting from grievous corruption that occurred within the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS).

On May 8 and May 14, Radio Globo revealed that current President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his party, the Nationalist Party, were linked to a social security embezzlement scandal that investigators allege involved around 350 million dollars. Radio Globo alleged that the Nationalist Party was one of the beneficiaries of the corruption scheme, specifically that it raised funds through the creation of false companies. Other acts of corruption involved in the case include the diversion of funds, selling of counterfeit medicine and inflation of the prices of social security provisions. Radio Globo also underlined the inactivity of the judiciary regarding this case.

These revelations have led to serious threats against the journalist David Romero, responsible for breaking the story, and to numerous protests attended by a large swathe of the Honduran population.

We join the cry of the Honduran people rising against the corruption that corrodes their country and undermines the effective enjoyment of their economic, social and cultural rights,” said Karim Lahidji, president of FIDH. Those responsible must be duly prosecuted and all assets returned to their true owners.”

FIDH calls for an effective investigation against all those who took part in the embezzlement scheme, an investigation that does not ignore or minimisee the serious consequences for the right to health of Honduran citizens.

The Multiparty Commission created to investigate "developments related to the corruption of the IHSS and other cases," decided, in addition to the IHSS case, to investigate the funding of the referendum organised shortly before the coup d’état against Zelaya in 2009. The Commission has thus ignored the "Cartagena Agreement" of 22 May 2011 in which it was agreed to annul all judiciary investigations against Zelaya and his government.

FIDH denounces the Commission’s efforts to play down the importance of the corruption case by diverting attention to the issue of the "cuarta urna" referendum. In doing so, the Commission seeks to deny the immense impact such corruption has on the social security of Hondurans.