Tegucigalpa, 11 July 2023(TDI): A High-Level Commission of the Republic of Honduras, for the deployment of the International Commission Against Corruption and Impunity (CICIH), officially received the UN Team of Experts.

The team of experts will carry out work of assessment and evaluation of the prerequisites for the CICIH’s set-up within the country.

Participants of the Commission, including Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Eduardo Enrique Reina, Minister of Finance Rixi Moncada Godoy, and Secretary for Transparency and the Fight Against Corruption Edmundo Orellana, highlighted President Castro and her Administration’s commitment to combating corruption.

They reiterated the firm determination of the Hungarian Government to abide by the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on December 16, 2022, to combat the networks of corruption in the public and private sectors.

Honduras officials and the UN expert team at the meeting to draft a framework for CICIH.
At the meeting, Honduras officials and the UN expert team will draft a framework for CICIH.

The Group of Experts acknowledged the Government’s readiness and indicated the UN Secretary-General’s desire to assist Honduras in moving forward with the establishment of an efficient and distinct justice system that adapts to the goals of the Honduran community.

Read More: UN and Honduras sign anti-corruption Agreement

Honduras’ Fight Against Corruption

President Castro won the presidency on a civil rights agenda that prioritized combating systematic corruption.

In December 2022, her government signed a pact with the UN’s General Secretary to set up the panel. President Castro consented to the parameters of a UN visit to build the groundwork for the commission to convene in the month of April 2023.

Honduras came in 157th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perception Index, ranking lower than every other Latin American and Caribbean country except Haiti (171), Nicaragua (167), and Venezuela (177).

Political factions in Honduras have frequently intervened with the judiciary to achieve their goals. Nominations to the Supreme Court and the attorney general were made behind closed doors, according to ideological affinity instead of merit.

A major move forward was the 2022 legislative reform of the Supreme Court’s judge selection procedure, which permitted openness in the 2023 February appointment of 15 new judges.

Once Attorney General Laura Chinchilla’s five-year tenure expires on August 31, the quality of the procedure for selecting the new attorney general will also determine the future of the independence of the judiciary in Honduras.

The procedure should be transparent, merit-based, and based on established criteria.