One of the main objectives of the CICIH will consist in the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases in Honduras also with the support of domestic public bodies.
The UN experts arrived in Honduras to make preliminary assessment of the feasibility and effectiveness of establishing the body. In case of a positive outcome, they will provide technical assistance in creating the CICIH, in particular, by evaluating legal and institutional frameworks to combat impunity and corruption, defining the reforms necessary to make the CICIH operational and putting forward the recommendations on how to enhance transparency, accountability and good governance.
The CICIH will only come into being when:
- The UN Secretariat and the Government of Honduras agree in writing on the existence of minimum legal guarantees and requirements for its operation;
- An intergovernmental body of the United Nations has granted it a mandate;
- The bilateral agreement negotiated between the UN and the Government of Honduras enters into force.
In order to ensure that the CICIH is independent, impartial, and autonomous, its leadership will be appointed by the UN Secretary-General.
The CICIH will be the second external anti-corruption commission to operate in Honduras.
In 2016, the Mission to Support against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) was installed with the backing of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Obama administration. It dealt with the investigation of important corruption cases, receipt and processing of whistleblowers’ reports, employment and certification of law enforcement officers responsible for combating corruption, provision of advice to local law enforcement agencies on how to investigate and prosecute criminal or administrative corruption cases and recover assets, as well as exercised control and supervision over those agencies. Throughout its operation the MACCIH, among other things, exposed corruption of officials linked to former President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was extradited to the United States on drug trafficking charges after leaving power in early 2022.
The MACCIH, however, concluded its activities in 2020 after the OAS failed to reach an agreement with the Hernandez government to extend its stay in the country.