Thursday, September 15, 2011

Can the Honduran Police be Cured of Corruption?

According to the plans of the now Ex Minister of Security Ricardo Alvarez he wanted to get rid of corrupt police.  To be able to fire them on the spot for corruption starting with the highest up of officials all the way down to the lowest entry level police officers.  I salute that idea, but is it possible to really cure the police of Honduras or even Honduran society of corruption in our government officials?

It is almost custom when the police stop you to offer them a 'mordida' of say 100 or 200 lempiras to just forget the whole situation. Usually these are harmless situations of using your cell phone while driving or not wearing your seatbelt or running a red light.  However, this corruption adds up to bigger corruption of paying to ignore drug shipments, to forget about ballistic evidence, etc.  It is not uncommon to see police going into neighborhoods to collect 'rent' from drug dealers and common theives to let them continue with their guns in hand and to continue dealing drugs while police look the other way.

The way to cure this of course is perhaps a few things, the ability to fire...an independent police investigation unit to investigate police corruption and to take complaints against officials and police officers from the general public and let those people remain anonymous.  To offer a reward for reporting corruption.  Also, I like the idea of undercover police officers, but that is not going to help without the combination of other things as well as adding a prison sentence to anyone offering a bribe to police officers in the first place.

Can the police and Honduran people be cured of corruption? Perhaps, but we have a long row to hoe before we get to cure the ailment of corruption in Honduras.