Thursday, May 24, 2012

Emergency Police Cleanup

The Honduran Congress, which went into recess six days ago, was called back into session today to vote on an emergency decree requested by the Security Minister, Pompeyo Bonilla. 

The bill they are considering suspends all of the guarantees police have about due process before being dismissed.  Specifically, the new law requested by Bonilla suspends chapters V, and VI of the Police Charter contained in decree 67-2008, about disciplinary acts and protection against suspension, for 90 days.

The decree is for an initial 90 days but may be extended indefinitely at the determination of the Dirección y Evaluación de la Carrera Policial (DIECP).

Oscar Alvarez was fired last September as Minister of Security for proposing a law to clean up the police that similarly would have suspended the existing due process guarantees of police officers.  At the time, Lobo Sosa thought it was important to continue those guarantees.

Its not clear why the concerns about constitutional guarantees that called Alvarez's law into question don't equally apply to this law.

It's been a busy Congressional recess so far. 

Congress was called back Wednesday to create a new Executive Branch Directorate of Investigation and Intelligence, to be directed by General Julian Pacheco Tinoco. 

This morning Congress approved an anti-doping law which allows the DIECP to conduct drug tests of police officers and then act on them.

Added to the abrupt dismissal of the chief of police earlier this week, it seems something has made reform of the police urgent.

1 comment:

RNS said...

As of this morning, the emergency decree passed, with a 180 day duration, not the 90 days originally proposed.