The death of 46 women at the National Penitentiary for Social Adaptation (PNFAS) brought to light bad decisions by the State amid a prison crisis that had shown warning signs. Xiomara Castro’s administration improvised an intervention in the prison system which demanded more time to make necessary changes and was affected by the lack of action by the National Police, according to Security Vice Minister, Julissa Villanueva, who led the intervention. It was a matter of time for such a tragedy to take place, but now that the military police have taken over the prison system in response, some fear that those who planned the massacre and benefit from the chaos at PNFAS will never be held accountable.
Perfil de Jennifer Ávila
In an exclusive interview for Contracorriente (CC), Undersecretary Uzra Zeya (UZ) spoke about her government’s support to Honduras on issues of education, security, migration and human rights and about the conditions of the United States to support the installation of an International Commission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (CICIH) to strengthen the anti-corruption efforts in the country.
Honorary consuls are limited-function, voluntary diplomatic actors whose role proceeds for an undetermined period of time. In Honduras today there are 62 honorary consuls, most being Honduran businessmen.This is the story of eight members of the Kafie family who hold honorary consul positions, even as some of them have been implicated in cases of corruption or human rights violations.
At the entrance to the Metropolitan Preventative Police Unit (Unidad Metropolitana de Prevención – UMEP) in the city of Trujillo in northern Honduras, once the haven of the drug trafficking cartel ‘Los Cachiros’, a vehicle with more than a hundred large caliber bullet holes sits on display.
Honduras’ National Police, a key tool for the narco-state, now struggles to reform itself under the new government.
Xiomara Castro became the first female president of Honduras. She ran with the Libre Party, the party founded by her husband, José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, not long after the coup d’état that ousted him from power in 2009. Castro promised a new future for Honduras after 12 years of National Party autocracy.
However, just a few months after taking office in January, the past has already cast a long shadow over the Castro administration. She pushed through an amnesty for allies of her husband accused of corruption, appointed former Zelaya officials to government positions, and placed several family members in key positions; provoking accusations of nepotism. Now an advisor to the president, Mel Zelaya is increasingly influential in the country’s politics.
On June 3, 2021, U.S. president Joe Biden announced that fighting corruption would be a key objective of his administration. Soon after, various U.S. government departments and agencies began to quickly expand their efforts to combat corruption at home and abroad. President Biden’s anti-corruption strategy could very well color his country’s relationship with President Xiomara Castro’s administration and determine whether Honduras can become a strategic partner for the U.S. in the region.
As detained former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández faces extradition to the United States on three drug trafficking charges, this investigation examines a group of his relatives and friends, who have been partners for years in a maze of charities and companies in Honduras and Florida, multiple of which have no apparent business activity. The paper trail also leads to Panama. The associates – including the current Honduran ambassadors to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, a nephew of the former president, and a former financial consultant to the congress – told us that their ventures didn’t succeed due to a decade-old scandal involving one of their charities, Fundecima.
A climate of uncertainty surrounded Sunday’s general election. But in the end, the day proceeded without violence and ended with the highest voter turnout in the last twelve years. Preliminary results gave Xiomara Castro of the Libre Party a wide lead. Though the country is still waiting for an official declaration, it seems Honduras will have its first female president and break with the two-party stranglehold on political power.
Just five days after the Pandora Papers were circulated in Honduras, the National Congress convened to amend the Money Laundering Law, despite protests by opposition legislators.
Yaudet Burbara Canahuati, businessperson and popular Honduran legislator who is running for re-election for his fourth term, did not declare his assets to the Court of Accounts in 2010, as he is obliged to. It was not possible to establish if he declared the funds he had in the British Virgin Islands of the offshore company he managed there since 2015. Although the law prohibits it, his family’s hotel has signed several contracts with the state.
After selling equipment to Social Security for three times its value, according to the Attorney General’s Office, businessperson Fauzi Rishmawy created multiple companies in tax havens. Equipos Industriales, Rishmawy’s Honduran company, continues to be a state contractor and is one of the suppliers of the Honduran Energy Company (EEH), which manages the bills and distribution of energy in the country.
After Honduran politician Yankel Rosenthal’s marathon in the courts, new offshore businesses come to light
During the trial that ended in a two-year prison sentence in the United States for attempting to do business with drug traffickers, it was revealed that former Honduran minister Yankel Rosenthal Coello had three offshore companies. This journalistic investigation found that he actually had six other companies in tax havens.
An analysis of thousands of documents from the Pandora Papers has revealed that the former politician and cattle rancher owned three shell companies in Panama, and that his wife, Rosa Elena Bonilla, managed an offshore company while she was first lady. Lobo’s son and a former right-hand man both sought to create companies in tax havens. Adding to their woes, the former president and his wife were both named on the Engel List, and Bonilla is currently facing a corruption trial.
Current mayor of Tegucigalpa and popular presidential candidate Nasry Asfura, and former mayor and current vice-president of Honduras Ricardo Álvarez, managed offshore companies in Panama while in office. The revelation is particularly important considering they have both been investigated for alleged embezzlement. So far neither of them has offered explanations for the offshores.
A little over six months after the United States Congress passed the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act (HR-2615), the U.S. State Department published a
The six Honduran officials named in the report are current National Party congressional representatives. Five of these had been previously implicated in the MACCIH-UFECIC Arca Abierta (Open Vault) investigation, including Oscar Nájera, a congressional representative sanctioned by the United States and the United Kingdom for his involvement in high-level corruption.
The pandemic and two hurricanes this year added to the heavy burden that Honduran nurses already bear. Together, they have learned to cope and confront the virus, the floods and long-standing evils: the plundering of the health system, unequal working conditions, violence, and machismo.
The hidden connection between a U.S. steel company and the controversial Los Pinares mine in Honduras
An environmental conflict marked by violence is raging in Guapinol, Honduras, where local inhabitants are resisting an iron oxide mine in a national park. This cross-border journalism alliance* has uncovered that Nucor Corporation, the chief steel producer in the United States, was a powerful hidden partner behind the mining project.
By Jennifer Avila/ Contracorriente Illustration by Paola Nirta from a photograph of Juan López / Agenda Propia Photos by Martín Cálix and Fernando Silva /
Text by: Jennifer Avila Photography: Hansel Brooks, victim in the Ahuas massacre 2012. By: Martín Cálix Yesterday, a tribunal in La Ceiba absolved the only
Honduras and the United States should build more humane and less militarized or corporate connections, according to Congressman Keith Ellison
After four days of traveling through the northern and central regions of Honduras, the U.S. Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison tells us that he has listened
By: Jennifer Avila Honduras and its eternal tragedy. Today all of us who live in this country lost Gustavo Moreno, a human being with an