The Organization of American States (OAS) is discussing who will permanently replace the leader of its Honduran anti-corruption commission who stepped down last week, a move which has U.S. government support.
According to local media La Prensa the U.S. Embassy in Honduras says it will work with the OAS so that the organization can "quickly and transparently" choose a new director of the OAS-backed Support Mission Against Impunity and Corruption in Honduras (Maccih).
The former Maccih director, Juan Jimenez Mayor stepped down last week over differences with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and the Honduran government under Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The U.S. embassy office in Honduras, headed by Ambassador Heide Fulton says "the United States along with the many of the OAS member states support Maccih and its role to combat corruption and impunity, which are essential to strengthen the rule of law in Honduras.
"It’s vital that Maccih continues its mandate and we’re dedicated to the rules that require that the OAS secretary general chooses the new head of Maccih, but that the new leader also has the backing of the Honduran government," added an embassy spokesperson.
On Feb. 17, a day after Mayor resigned, the OAS announced that International Prosecutor Ana Maria Calderon will act as Maccih interim director until a new director is appointed.
The United States, Canada, European Union and the United Nations have financed the Maccih four year mission, which began in 2016, with $US 24 million so far, according to the French government.
Mayor attributed his resignation to what he says was Luis Almagro’s "lack of communication" with him since last August.
"This had its greatest expression when he did not receive me on Jan. 30, despite having traveled specifically to meet with him and inform him of the current situation of the mission," Mayor said last week in his resignation letter.
He further explained that such meetings were vital to his work in Honduras.
Another reason Mayor said he was stepping down was the lack of support from the Honduran government, which just passed a law enabling it to derail and dismiss several Maccih high-level corruption cases the commission had been working on for months. One case implicated over 160 current and former nationally elected officials and government authorities.