Washington Complicit in Honduras Corruption
Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2015
Lauren Carasik (Western New England Law School), TelesurTV (June 5th):
As the corruption scandal dogging Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández continues to gather steam, the Obama administration has been notably silent about problems plaguing its ally. This is unsurprising, since the current maelstrom is President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s legacy in post-coup Honduras.
Honduran opposition parties allege that the right-wing National Party received $90 million of an estimated $300 million stolen from the IHSS, the Honduran Social Security Institute. The money, they claim, funded Hernandez’s costly 2013 presidential campaign against Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Mel Zelaya. The funds were apparently siphoned off through fake businesses, some of which wrote checks to the party, and jacked up prices to fund kickbacks. The entire 18-person board of the IHSS is under investigation – all are members of the National party. Meanwhile, several National Party officials filed a suit against Salvador Nasralla, head of the Anti-Corruption party, claiming his allegations of misappropriated funds are defamatory. Underscoring the uphill battle in ferreting out corruption, Roberto Ramirez Aldana, the prosecutor assigned to the case, fled the country in the wake of credible death threats, hampering the investigation. David Romero, the [Radio Globo] journalist who exposed the scandal, has also received death threats. Impunity and silence are enforced by threats and violence in post-coup Honduras.
And since last month the Supreme Court confirmed that the Constitutional ban on seeking a second term was invalid, in a process rife with suspicious irregularities, Hernández is free to run for re-election. Paradoxically, the justification for the 2009 coup ousting former President Mel Zelaya – that both President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton refused to condemn – was over allegations that he intended to alter the Constitution to allow his re-election.
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