Human Rights Organizations Alert Against Developments that Threaten Continuity of the MACCIH in Honduras; Urge Mandate be Renewed
16.December.2019

 

The Americas and Europe, December 16th, 2019.- National and international organizations with outstanding human rights records in Honduras warned that on December 10, International Human Rights Day and one day after International Anti-Corruption Day, the National Congress of Honduras approved a report on the actions, progress and results achieved by the Mission of Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), which was implemented in Honduras in 2016 as a result of an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS). 

The report requests that the Executive Branch not renew the current Honduras-OAS agreement that created MACCIH. It should be noted that the report was prepared by a Special Commission made up of seven congressmen, four of whom are from the National Party of Honduras, created on December 5. That day, the President of Congress, Mauricio Oliva, who has been investigated by MACCIH, reported in the media, “MACCIH is a marriage with the Executive, who send it here and I decide whether or not to consecrate it.” He went on to say that the report was “precise” and “unappealable.”  

In 2018, MACCIH and the Special Fiscal Unit Against Corruption Impunity (UFECIC) presented the "Pandora" case that identified a plan to divert government funds to the National Party during the 2013 electoral campaign. The investigation was directed against 38 politicians and officials, including current congressional representatives. At the same time, the political party has been named in "Caja chica de la dama", "Caja chica del hermano", "Licitaciones fraudulentas del Seguro Social", "Arca abierta" and "Narcopolítica" corruption cases.
 
All these cases are characterized by crimes such as money laundering, embezzlement of public funds and violation of the obligations of officials. In addition to congressmen, the people involved have been linked to Officials of the Honduran Social Security Institute, the National Electric Energy Company (ENEE) and emerging businessmen such as David Castillo, accused of being part of the ENEE fraud network through the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on the Gualcarque River, who has also been accused of being one of the alleged intellectual authors of the murder of Berta Cáceres. Likewise, through the investigations of the MACCIH and the UFECIC, the acts of corruption committed during the Administration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa (2010-2014) by the former First Lady and the President's brother and son were revealed.

These advances have resulted in the MACCIH and UFECIC coming under constant attack in an attempt to undermine their mandate. For this reason, we note with deep concern that the recent report adopted by the Honduran Congress responds to an effort to protect particular interests and ensure impunity for those who have been investigated for illegal acts in the country. We also believe that the established period - five days - was very short in terms of studying the scope of the Mission in the four years of its management in the country. We also note that the reading and approval of the report in plenary was fast, a situation that was denounced by other members of Congress who were present at the meeting.

At the same time, we recall that the government of Honduras and the OAS set up a Working Evaluation Committee of the MACCIH, which published its report on December 12 and in which, by virtue of the results obtained by MACCIH, recommends: "extending the current text of the MACCIH Convention; and subsequently, establishing protocols to ensure effective and efficient administration and compliance with its general objectives and lines of action that they deem necessary.”

In this vein, we urge the Honduran State to renew the mandate of the MACCIH and to take measures to strengthen its joint work with the UFECIC to investigate, prosecute and sanction those responsible for serious acts of corruption that have weakened and had negative consequences for all sectors of Honduran society. In addition, we particularly ask Honduran Congress to refrain from making statements that stigmatize the work of MACCIH and to promote an impartial discussion based on technical criteria.

We also call on the member countries of the OAS and its General Secretariat to promote the renewal of the agreement with the State and for countries and agencies cooperating with the Mission, as well as the international community, to raise their voices condemning the advances made in the fight against corruption in the country. 

Signatory organizations

Honduras:
Asociación Para Una Vida Mejor de Personas Infectadas/Afectadas por el VIH-Sida en Honduras (APUVIMEH)
Coalición contra la Impunidad, compuesta por: Asociación de Mujeres Intibucanas Renovadas (AMIR), Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (AJD), Asociación Feminista Trans (AFET), Asociación FÍAN Honduras, Asociación Intermunicipal de Desarrollo y Vigilancia (AIDEVISH), Asociación LGTB Arcoíris de Honduras, Asociación Nacional de Personas viviendo con SIDA (ASONAPVSIDA), Asociación para una Ciudadanía Participativa (ACI-Participa), Asociación por la Democracia y los Derechos Humanos (ASOPODEHU), Asociación Prevención y Educación en Salud Sexual y SIDA Tela (APREST), Pastoral Social Cáritas- diócesis de San Pedro Sula, Centro de Derechos de Mujeres(CDM), Centro de Desarrollo Humano (CDH), Centro de Educación y Prevención en Salud, Sexualidad y SIDA (CEPRES), Centro de Estudios de la Mujer- Honduras (CEM-H), Centro de Estudios Para la Democracia (CESPAD), Centro de Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CIPRODEH), Centro para la Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares (CPTRT), Colectivo Diamantes Limeños, Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa (CUCR), 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), Crisálidas de Villanueva, Ecuménicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Equipo de Monitoreo Independiente de Honduras (EMIH), Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC-SJ), Espacio-ACI, Familia Franciscana JPIC, Federación de Sindicatos de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria (FESTAGRO), Foro de Mujeres por la Vida, Foro Nacional de Sida (FOROSIDA), Foro Nacional para las Migraciones (FONAMIH), Foro Social de la Deuda Externa y Desarrollo de Honduras (FOSDEH), Frente Amplio del COPEMH, Organización de Mujeres intibucanas "Las Hormigas", Movimiento Ambientalista Social por la Vida (MASS VIDA), Movimiento Indígena Lenca- La Paz Honduras (MILPAH), Movimiento Ambientalista Santabarbarense (MAS), Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (MADJ), Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz Visitación Padilla", Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA), plataforma agraria Regional del Valle del Aguán, Observatorio Permanente de Derechos Humanos del Bajo Aguan (OPDHA), Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras (OCDIH), PBI, Plataforma internacional contra la impunidad (PI), Pastoral de Movilidad Humana (PMH), Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras, Red de Participación de Organizaciones de sociedad civil Siguatepeque (RPOSC), Red de Trabajadoras Sexuales de Honduras (REDMUDE), Unión de Empresas y de Organizaciones de Trabajadores del Campo (UTC), Vía Campesina.
COIPRODEN
Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH)
DIAKONIA Honduras
Grupo Sociedad Civil (GSC)
Plataforma Agraria del Bajo Aguán

International:
Asociadas por lo Justo (JASS)
CADEHO
Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala en Washington (GHRC-USA)
Corporación Colectivo Ansur
Fundación para el Debido Proceso (DPLF)
Honduras Delegation
Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras)                                                                                                                                                                  Misereor
Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia
Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA)
Organización Mundial contra la Tortura (OMCT)