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MACCIH/OAS Presented Sixth Report of the Mission to the Permanent Council of the Organization

  May 15, 2019

The Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) of the Organization of American States (OAS) today presented to the Permanent Council of the institution the Sixth Quarterly Report on the Mission's management in Honduras, in compliance with the commitments acquired at the signing of the agreement between the OAS and the Government of Honduras.

The report, which was presented by Luiz Marrey, Spokesperson of the Mission and Representative of the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, presented the achievements made and challenges faced by the Mission between October 2018 and April 2019.

During this period, seven new fiscal requirements were presented by the Public Prosecutor's Office, with technical and legal support from the MACCIH: "Petty Cash of the Brother," "expansion of the Impunity Pact Case," "Fraudulent Tender of the Social Security Institute," "Arca Abierta," "Fraud on the Gualcarque", "Patuca III" -Collusion and corruption, as well as the requirement of insurance of goods related to the case “Petty Cash of the Lady.”

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, highlighted the results offered by the Mission. "We value the report and the role of the MACCIH in the fight against corruption, especially in the construction of a national anti-corruption system that has allowed the investigation of seven more cases of great corruption in recent months," he said. "With this, there are already eleven cases that the integrated UFECIC - MACCIH team has managed to prosecute since its creation in 2017," he added.

The Spokesperson of the Mission and Representative of the Secretary General, Luiz Marrey, said in his presentation that "the MACCIH has been working hard on the commitments assumed by the General Secretariat of the OAS. The Mission has been and will remain highly committed to continue supporting the work of the Public Prosecutor´s Office and proposing the strengthening of the rule of law in Honduras. And the results support that work: according to a public opinion poll, 61.3% of Hondurans want the Mission to continue its work beyond the conclusion of the current mandate in 2020."

The Spokesperson of the MACCIH highlighted in his presentation the advances in the new Law of Effective Collaboration, which follows the recommendations of the Supreme Court of Honduras. At the same time, a constitutional amendment proposal was presented to provide in the Honduran Constitution the classic guarantees of the magistracy, in order to ensure its complete independence, as a basis for the rule of law.

Within the framework of the work of the Criminal Justice Observatory that the MACCIH promotes together with Honduran civil society, the report highlights the holding of citizen forums to strengthen the capacities of Honduran civil society in the fight against corruption and impunity focused on issues such as: the law of effective collaboration; groups in a situation of vulnerability; judicial independence; access to public information; and an international forum for journalists on investigative journalism against corruption.

The period covered by the report also included the presentation by the Justice Studies Center of the Americas team of a report on Criminal Justice in Honduras, the result of more than a year of field research and part of the Mission's contribution to the improvement of the democratic state of law in Honduras.

The report also highlighted the work of the Public Security Division of the MACCIH-OAS in the protection of journalists, human rights defenders, social communicators and justice operators, by diagnosing the perception of the situation of officials and operators of the Power Judicial and of the Public Ministry.

The report presented by Spokesperson Marrey included a series of recommendations, among them the strengthening of the Special Prosecutor's Unit against Impunity and Corruption (UFECIC), as well as the Courts and Tribunals against Corruption with National Jurisdiction; the guarantee of their independence and autonomy; the formulation of the corporate responsibility law that will constitute the normative framework to strengthen the pacts against corruption; and the implementation of a witness protection protocol, among others.

Reference: E-030/19