The Mission of Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih) is "concerned" about legislation they say would change the Seizure of Assets Law to protect those detained on charges of corruption and embezzlement.
Maccih, the Honduran anti-corruption commission backed by the Organization of American States (OAS) said in a Twitter statement that the reform, proposed by the right-wing Honduran Patriotic Alliance (APH) party - would give "privilege to public officials who are being charged with embezzling state funds."
On Tuesday APH legislators proposed a reform to the current Seizure of Assets Law that would eliminate a clause that currently allows the state to seize assets of public workers who have been detained or charged with pilfering state funds. These lawmakers want to keep intact the state's power to seize property from accused drug traffickers.
Yesterday, former presidential candidate for the APH, Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, who also led the military overthrow of democratically elected former President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, said the law in its current form "abuses" those who have been arrested for corruption.
If passed as it has been proposed, the reform would force the state to return the assets it seized this week from Rosa Elena de Lobo, former first lady to President Porfirio Lobo (2010-2014), arrested on suspicion of stealing more than US$600,000 in state funds between 2011 and 2015.
The revision would also benefit several high-ranking government officials, including the former Secretary of Security Reyna Elizabeth Ayala Reyes and several other government officials held since July in preventive detention for allegedly stealing the equivalent of US$63.4 million from the Honduran people.
Via its communique, Maccih says it will "release a complete analysis in the coming days." The statement went on to "invite congress members, state institutions …, civil society and countries that cooperate with Honduras to combat corruption and transnational organized crime...to reflect" on the proposed reform.