Should Honduras be eliminating its police reform commission?

The commission was created in 2012 in order to design, plan, and certify community police, public prosecutor, and judicial reforms. President-elect Hernandez is in favor of a militarized police force.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog. The views expressed are the author's own.

The lame duck Honduran Congress was busy this week.

Among their "accomplishments" was the elimination of the Comision de la Reforma de Seguridad Publica, the group responsible for developing the current procedures for cleaning up the police.

The Cominision de la Reforma de Seguridad Publica was created on Jan. 31 2012, given the responsibility to design, plan, and certify a process totally reforming the police, the Public Prosecutor's office, and the Judicial branch. They were charged with reorganizing said governmental entities and proposing any needed legislation to back up the changes.

While they worked out procedures to detect and clear out some kinds of corruption in the police and Public Prosecutor's office, and drafted laws to back up their model of reforms to the public security apparatus in Honduras, the Lobo Sosa government never acted on those changes, effectively pocket vetoing them.

Juan Orlando Hernández, the incoming president, has a completely different idea of how the reforms should go, emphasizing building up military police rather than employing the community policing (based on a Japanese model) that the CSRP had proposed.

The lame duck Congress, ever so much in President-elect Hernández's pocket, lamented that the CSRP "never delivered the expected results" and so they voted the CSRP out of existence.

– Russell Sheptak, the co-author of the blog Honduras Culture and Politics, specializes in the study of colonial history and economic anthropology in this little-reported corner of Central America.


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