Chile, Canada Support Honduras’s Security Reform Commission

first_img On June 1, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo installed a security commission to purge the police, infiltrated by organized crime, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the judicial system, with the assistance of two experts from Chile and Canada. “We all celebrate the full installation of the commission,” Lobo said at the ceremony inaugurating the work of the body, which has no time limit to complete its task. “We Hondurans face many challenges, but the security challenge ties us down from being able to generate the economic growth and income that our people need,” Lobo stressed. The president urged the police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the judicial branch “not to see (the commission’s work) as an intervention, but as a necessity, so that we Hondurans can have strong (…), transparent, and ethical institutions.” Honduras is confronting a serious security problem, with a homicide rate of 82 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in the world, according to a United Nations report. Lobo named university professors Víctor Meza, Matías Funes, and Omar Casco to the commission, while Chile sent Aquiles Blu, and Canada sent Adam Blackwell (also representing the OAS), at the Honduran president’s request. Meza, the body’s chair, said that “the challenge that the commission faces is enormous: it’s aimed at reforming Honduras’s entire public-safety system,” and he emphasized that its establishment “is the state’s response to the crisis in the security system.” On January 31, the Honduran Congress approved the purge of the police by a commission with Honduran and foreign members, following reports that linked officers to organized crime, but it also included the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the judicial branch. According to Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla, the purge will impact around 4,000 members of the police force, out of 14,500 currently serving. The Public Prosecutor’s Office reported in late 2011 that entire police precincts were involved with organized crime in offenses such as links to major drug traffickers, kidnapping, murder, robbery, and extortion. By Dialogo June 05, 2012last_img read more