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Corruption, an endemic evil that eats away at Honduras’s democracy and drives away investment

Honduras’ institutions are “eaten away” by corruption, a scourge that has already “metastasized”, so their combat is increasingly difficult and makes the country an unattractive destination for investment.

For analyst Raúl Pineda, “it is not about strengthening an institutional framework eaten away by corruption”, but rather “we must reinvent and build a new institutionality“.

The democratic model of Honduras is “collapsed” due to corruption, a scourge that “metastasized” in the country. where the worst form of corruption is linked to organized crime, he pointed.

Pineda also believes that all governments have to “coexist with crime” and that, when crime takes over most of the State administration, “the problem becomes much more complicated.”

The fight against corruption, a scourge that the country has dragged on since the 19th century, is seen further and further after the Honduran Parliament approved reforms to the Penal Code in October that limit your research, mainly in the public sector.

Posters of the ruling National Party in Tegucigalpa. Reuters photo

The mission

The general opinion in the country is that with the departure in 2020 of the Mission to Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih), which depended on the Organization of American States (OAS), the corruption deepened further.

The Maccih ended its tasks in Honduras in January 2020 after the Government, through Parliament, decided not to ratify the agreement signed in 2016 by the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández, and the secretary general of the hemispheric entity, Luis Almagro.

The non-continuation of the Maccih is pointed out as a negative fact in the fight against corruption and impunity in the country, which last year had a decline in the position of Transparency International’s world ranking of perception of corruption.

Honduras fell from 26 to 24 points out of 100 in the perception index corruption, its lowest score in eight years, and ranked 157 out of a total of 180 countries analyzed by Transparency International.

Road to the cliff

Pineda agrees with other analysts that, in the last four years, Honduras, the fourth country in the world with the highest perception of corruption and the second in Central America, has been infested with acts of corruption.

Honduras is on its way to the “cliff” by the lack of independence of the powers of the State and an “absolute conviction” not to reduce corruption, said Pineda, a lawyer and former deputy.

The fight against the scourge of corruption must be improved and frontal so that the country can attract investment, which in recent years has decreased.

In Pineda’s opinion, foreign and national investment will not occur on a large scale while the Government does not guarantee legal security and fight corruption, which each year bleeds the public coffers, which is why a high-level international mission is required to help Hondurans face this scourge.

The analyst Saúl Bueso said that Honduras faces a “serious problem” due to corruption, since state institutions and private companies they have lost credibility and the population trust in them, which has reduced investment.

AFP

AFP

“Social investment has decreased due to corruption and because there is skepticism in society, which no longer believes in anyone, “said Bueso.

The latest most notorious corruption scandal in Honduras is the purchase of seven hospitals, in Turkey, between March and April 2020, to face the covid-19 pandemic, which so far, according to official sources, has left 10,398 deaths and 377,589 infections.

According to complaints from the National Anticorruption Council (CNA) and the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), among other sources, in the purchase of mobile hospitals from the company Elmed Medical Systems, At a cost of $ 47.5 million, there was corruption.

Marco Bográn and Alex Moraes, former director and former administrator of the state-owned Strategic Investment of Honduras (Invest-H), respectively, have been imprisoned for the irregular purchase since last April. for two crimes of violation of the duties of officials and two of fraud to the detriment of the public administration.

The new government that takes office on January 27, 2022 will have the challenge of putting an end to the shady businesses of public officials who, in alliance with some businessmen and organized crime, have sold looting, not now, to a country where impunity also prevails. , according to analysts.

EFE Agency

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