Wednesday, September 28, 2011


No one was more surprised than Oswaldo Canales when he was not re-elected head of the Consejo Nacional Anti-Corrupción. In the election, Dulce María Zavala, representative on the council of the Asociación Nacional de los Empleados Públicos (ANDEPH), won the backing of 7 of the 10 representatives present.

Canales attributes his loss to his having told the truth:
"Telling the truth in this country is a sin,"

Canales told the press.

Now Juan Ferrera, council member representing Foro Nacional de Convergencia (FONAC) says it was a "plot", hatched six months ago, to wrest control of the CNA from the religious organizations.
"In the organizations, they discussed the idea that neither of the two church organizations (catholic and evangelical) should assume the coordination of the CNA, in light of their having left many problems, especially when they did that of June 28 and they have to be in some form the moral force that should remain and accompany the CNA assembly, but they should not coordinate the council."

The "plot" was said to originate in the Executive Branch, with Zavala's candidature having the support of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

The CNA was founded in 2001 and "reinstalled" in 2005 with the ambitious goals of promoting transparency in government, developing public morality, to prevent, control, and combat corruption in government. The religious organizations have predominated in leadership roles since it was founded.

Citing a potential loss of autonomy in the CNA, the three groups that didn't vote for Zavala are thinking about pulling out of the CNA for the time being. They fear that Zavala, representing the government employees union, will politicize the jobs within the CNA, appointing party activists. Others within the CNA see this as a secularization of the organization.

What the election has done is highlight a pre-existing split between the religious organizations and the secular ones who were members of the CNA. The CNA has been largely ineffective under church leadership since 2005.

It will be interesting to see if the secularization of the CNA can make it more effective at dealing with corruption in government.

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