Honduras Names Commission to Purge Police Infiltrated by Crime

By Dialogo
March 15, 2012

The Honduran government named three intellectuals as members of a commission that will purge the police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the judicial branch of the infiltration of organized crime, an official statement announced on March 13.

The team, which will be joined by two foreigners, probably a Chilean and a Canadian, will be made up of Jorge Casco, a former head of the National University; Matías Funes, a retired instructor at that institution; and Víctor Meza, the director of the Honduran Documentation Center (Cedoh) and a former interior minister, according to the press release.

“It’s a quite delicate responsibility, in order to assist in improving the Honduran situation,” Funes declared to radio broadcaster HRN, where he has worked as an analyst.

President Porfirio Lobo’s administration resolved to create the commission following the discovery that entire police stations were members of gangs of drug traffickers, kidnappers, car thieves, and practitioners of extortion.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office denounced the police force, which has 14,500 personnel, after eight members of that institution were suspected of having killed two National University students, one of them a son of the university’s head, Julieta Castellanos, on October 22.

The commission was designed to suggest formulas for resolving the problem of police corruption and proposed the formation of this team of Honduran nationals and foreigners for the difficult task of conducting a purge, which will focus on the police, but which will also encompass prosecutors and judges.

It will also investigate operating methods, police abuse, and the clandestine links that exist among the police, organized crime, gangs, and any other criminal structures, for the purpose of committing illicit acts.

One of the functions of the commission, which will work for three years, will be to determine officials’ income and compare it with their real-estate holdings and moveable property, as well as those of their spouses and relatives.

Honduras, with a population of 8 million people, recorded 86 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011, making it the most violent country in the world, according to UN reports.