Honduras will sign an agreement with the U.N. for anti-corruption missions

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By Gustavo Palencia

TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras is expected to sign a deal Thursday to set up a United Nations-backed anticorruption unit in the country. The announcement was made Wednesday by a foreign ministry official. It fulfills President Xiomara Cuba’s key campaign promise to eliminate corruption.

Castro met U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier in New York, closing off talks that began in May to establish the anti-corruption agency known as CICIH.

The foreign ministry claimed that the agreement would be signed on Thursday but then removed the tweet. A ministry official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters that the agreement will still have to be signed Thursday.

Castro’s daughter Xiomara Zlaya, a member who leads the legislative’s foreign relations panel, also tweeted that the agreement will be inked Thursday.

After the scandal-plagued government left-wing ex-President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Castro, a leftist, ran last year with a promise to create a graft prosecution commission to hold untouchable bad actors responsible.

Hernandez was arrested in the United States for drug trafficking earlier this year.

According to U.S. diplomats as well as non-governmental organizations, corruption in Honduras takes $3 billion per year. This leads to increased poverty and more migration.

An OAS-supported similar mission operated in Honduras from January 2020 to January 2020. However, it was disbanded when then-President Hernandez allowed its mandate to expire.

The OAS mission, known as the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, was established in 2016. It led corruption investigations into Hernandez, legislators, and officials.

OAS-backed investigation led to Hernandez’s conviction of many people close to him, including his predecessor Porfirio Lobo. Rosa Elena Lobo was also found guilty of illicit enrichment.

(Reporting and Writing by Gustavo Palencia; Editing and Writing by Kylie Madry.

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