The Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of Honduras today signed an agreement to launch the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) at the headquarters of the hemispheric Organization in Washington, DC.
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, recalled that corruption and impunity erode democracy, drive citizens away from society and generate distrust and a perennial perception of injustice in society. "At the end of the day, the only beneficiaries are those who belong to a little group that appropriates public funds and as always the losers are the weakest, the poorest, and those who live by their efforts." "Today we open a chapter of hope in Honduras with the establishment of the MACCIH," he added.
The President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, said the signing of the agreement between his government and the OAS represents "the culmination of a process of dialogue that has generated strong expectations throughout Honduran society." "As a government, we guarantee the Mission the broadest possible access to information, institutions and processes. We will make known our diagnostics, strategies and assessments and we are committed to accompany, with our full support, the performance of the duties of the Mission under the terms of the agreement that we signed today," added President Hernández.
The MACCIH will be composed of prosecutors, judges and international experts who will select, advise, evaluate and certify a group of Honduran prosecutors and judges, who will be in charge of investigating and prosecuting significant cases of corruption networks. The multidisciplinary team will have as a spokesman and the representative of the OAS Secretary General the former Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Peru, Juan Jiménez, who has extensive experience in anti-corruption work in the developing world.
The Mission will select and decide the cases of corruption in which it will actively collaborate and notify the competent authorities. The MACCIH is independent both financially and politically, which provides greater guarantees of its ability to promote the transparency demanded by Honduran citizens. The full agreement is available here.
The ceremony was also attended by the Foreign Minister and the Attorney General of Honduras, Arturo Corrales and Fernando Chinchilla, respectively. The signing took place in the Hall of the Americas, and was attended by numerous diplomatic representatives of the countries of the region and representatives of Honduran civil society. The video of the entire ceremony is available here.