Congressman Sires Urges President of Honduras to Extend MACCIH
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, was joined by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul, and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee Francis Rooney, in sending a letter to President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández urging him to extend the mandate for the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH). Rep. Sires released the following statement:
“Today, the leadership in the Foreign Affairs Committee joined me in urging President Hernández to use his authority to extend MACCIH’s mandate. MACCIH has made huge strides in restoring rule of law and faith in the government of Honduras, but its work is not finished. President Juan Orlando Hernández has the ability and the responsibility to extend the mandate and continue fighting against corruption, and we urge him to do exactly that and confirm his commitment to rule of law and the people of Honduras.”
Text of the Letter:
Dear President Hernández:
We write you to express our strong support for the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH). We appreciate the commitment to combating corruption that you demonstrated in 2015 when you reached an agreement with the OAS to create MACCIH. In the interest of further strengthening the rule of law in Honduras, we urge you to use your authority as President to extend MACCIH’s mandate for an additional four-year period until January 2023 and preserve its original mandate. The U.S. Congress maintains our support for MACCIH as recently expressed by officials in the U.S. Department of State.
Since 2016, MACCIH has worked closely with the Special Prosecutor’s Unit against Corruption and Impunity (UFECIC) within the Honduran Public Prosecutor’s office to uncover evidence of corruption and fraud. Their joint investigations have exposed abuse of Honduran public resources and made strides in restoring the trust of the Honduran people in their government institutions. Moreover, this model of collaboration between MACCIH and UFECIC has helped strengthen the Honduran justice system and improved its domestic investigative capacity. While we acknowledge that MACCIH has faced challenges in its investigations, local civil society organizations and Honduran citizens repeatedly speak about the value of MACCIH in their conversations with us. We believe MACCIH’s work is as important now as it was in 2016 and requires more time to fulfill its objectives.
We urge you to use your unilateral authority as President of Honduras to extend MACCIH’s mandate until January 2023 in coordination with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States. We believe your doing so would preserve U.S. investment in MACCIH and allow it to continue its important work without delay or any further uncertainty about its fate.
We share your goal of building a more prosperous and democratic society in Honduras and deeply value the friendship between our two countries. We believe MACCIH is making important contributions to our shared interest in strengthening security and prosperity in the region and hope you will agree to support its continued efforts by extending its mandate.