The Honduran government accepted Monday a comprehensive reform plan proposed by the Organization of American States (OAS) for its justice system, but the plan does not include the proposal of creating a U.N.-backed anti-impunity body, a strong and recurrent demand of the country’s Outraged or Indignados movement.
A formal committee, created Monday, will start discussing its implementation with the OAS.
But the plan has left some political activists, who felt Honduras needs an anti-impunity commission modeled after Guatemala’s, discouraged.
Last week on Friday, conservative Honduran President Juan O. Hernandez received the OAS recommendations and told Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales and the National Council of Defense and Security to prepare a response, which will be negotiated with the regional body.
The response does not suggest any modification to the OAS document, but considers how to concretely implement the reform in the Central American country, a member of the Honduran delegation told the local El Heraldo.
The reform could cost about US$6 million, according to a preliminary estimate from the executive. It was elaborated at the Center of Justice Studies of the Americas (CEJA), which depends on the OAS.
The CEJA diagnosed the need for deep reform of the country's judicial institutions, regarding the efficiency of the implementation of criminal reforms, the selection of judges and magistrates, and the structure and management of the Public Ministry, the Supreme Court and the Public Defense.
The body also recommended studying the training mechanism of judges and attorneys, and creating a transparency supervising body of the Judicial Power and the Attorney General's Office.
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Political and civil society sectors were consulted earlier in July and September over adequate measures to fight corruption and impunity.
However, the CEJA found that the proposal of creating a U.N.-backed anti-impunity body on the model of Guatemala, as many civil society groups have been demanding in recent months, was not suitable for Honduras.
Out of the 60 organizations consulted by the CEJA Chilean facilitator John Biehl, 52 disagreed with the implementation of such supra-national body, he reported.
Biehl also criticized that former President Manuel Zelaya, ousted via a parliamentary coup in 2009, now leader of opposition party Libre, “would feel like to feel he owns the Indignados movement,” reported El Heraldo.
Zelaya denied Biehl's allegation, saying the facilitator was “betraying the people for imposing its recipe – we are not a colony anymore,” for not including an international anti-impunity body in the reform.
Sr BIEHL, Comprenda soy un indignado más en esta lucha del pueblo. ! La CICIH no es negociable ! https://t.co/lm0cOqt4t5— Jose Manuel Zelaya R (@manuelzr) septiembre 13, 2015
“Mr Biehl, understand that I am one more outraged in the people’s struggle. The anti-impunity body is not negotiable!”
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