Honduras Initiates Investigation of Police Enrichment

Honduras National Police being ordered to account for their income in the fight against organized crime.

Honduras National Police are being ordered to account for their income in the fight against organized crime.

All members of the National Police must report what businesses as well as assets they have, and the source of all income derived in addition to their salaries.
This review of the their estates was ordered by the director of the National Honduras Police, Juan Carlos Bonilla (El Tigre), who says that this is one of the first steps to be taken to determine whether the enrichment of police officers is lawful or not.
A note was sent from “El Tigre” to all police directors, instructing that all members cooperate.
“The note sent to various institutions in which I mention to give us information about activities of all our police officers and officials, it is focused, it goes step by step … there are certain activities which are imbued with the members of the National Police, and I mean commercial activities,” said Bonilla.
He said that this accountability ordered is not a declaration of assets of the police, but an explanation of the parallel activities by which the officers obtained a profit. Many police officers primarily own transportation companies, some of the heavy type, livestock and/or other merchant businesses with which they have managed to prosper significantly, to the extent that some are already millionaires.

Bonilla asked two weeks ago to from the “TSC” (Accountability Tribunal) to investigate all members of the National Police in order to know who has enriched themselves illegally.
Currently, only the officials who earn more than 30,000 lempiras a month ($1,545), or have under his or her command, asset management, are those that are required to file a declaration of assets before the TSC, as a measure of control over their resources.

But this process has not served at all to “count their ribs”, so Bonilla has now applied this new measure of control.

The National Police is composed of some 15,000 elements, of which over 14 thousand are in the basic scale and whose income is equivalent to the minimum wage. The director said the property investigation of the police is because there are many suspicions that some elements have economically surpassed their lifestyles, and thus may be involved in illegal activities. This written order makes it clear that there will be an investigation of the activities in which agents operate.
There are policemen involved in “activities concerning human rights in terms of unjust enrichment and is a factor affecting police work”, Bonilla said. He also stated he is awaiting the arrival of a team of foreigners who will administer the polygraph lie detector to all police as part of the implementation of confidence tests which will be applied to members of the organization.

The governments of Colombia, Israel and the United States together have pledged to perform these exams. The new leaders appointed to the Honduras National Police will all be tested,  and depending on the results obtained, shall be appointed permanently to their assigned post.

Juan Carlos Bonilla was named as director of the Honduras National Police on May 21, 2012 in place of Ricardo Ramirez. He was commissioned to do a thorough cleaning of the institution, and to support his efforts he was granted “super powers” by a decree that authorizes expediting the legal process of separation of alleged corrupt police.
The National Congress approved Decree 89-2012, which suspends for six months some major points of the Organic Law of the National Police concerning the disciplinary policy applied to dismiss officers for wrongdoing.

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