The OAS's Misión de Apoyo Contra la Corrupción en Honduras (MACCIH) will begin work in Honduras today with a working breakfast, and a meeting with President Hernandez. It will do so without the required legal framework being in place in Honduras.
The OAS and the Government of Honduras had a showy signing of the MACCIH agreement in January in Washington DC. Everyone acknowledged at the time that as a treaty, it still needed to be approved by the Honduran Congress to go into effect. Yet the Office of the President of Honduras waited until last week to submit it to the Honduran Congress for approval, and Mauricio Oliva, the President of Congress, has just postponed the vote for a second time, to sometime next week, amid allegations that his party is offering a 12 million lempiras (about $5400 ) bribes to Congress members of opposition parties to vote for ratification of the agreement.
Outside of the National Party, none of the other political parties in Honduras have taken a stand on the approval of the agreement. Many Hondurans, especially those that have been marching as the Indignados, are sceptical of the OAS mission. They see it as a stalling attempt by their government to make it appear to the outside world that its working to correct corruption and impunity without actually doing anything. Much of the MACCIH charter involves studies and recommendations, which then must be acted upon by already corrupt parts of the Honduran government, to correct their own corruption.
How ironic that the MACCIH mission will be beginning its work in Honduras today without the required Congressional ratification and amid allegations that the ruling party is offering bribes to vote for ratification of the treaty. Not an auspicious start.