Anti-Corruption Is Sometimes Anti-Democratic

Posted by Mike Phillips
Posted in Guatemala, Honduras

Central America does not enjoy the world’s strongest reputation for rule of law, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that some recent efforts to crack down on graft end up being exploited for political purposes – as those in power accuse their opponents of made up crimes, and then have their prosecutors carry out a fake case to remove them from the equation. More on this in Vox:

Corruption investigations in Latin America threaten democracy in two ways. First, malfeasant legislators and executives — rightly recognizing this historical opening as an existential threat to their job security and freedom from imprisonment — are fighting back. From Guatemala to Argentina to Honduras to Brazil, politicians are using their positions of power and control over legislative levers to weaken the rule of law, rewriting policy and manipulating investigations to shield themselves yet take down opponents. These public officials are exploiting the tools of the law and an open civil society to subvert anti-corruption investigations and the rule of law.

Most obviously, this involves attempts to shut down entire investigations and dismantle agencies that prosecute corruption. In Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales has for the past year been seeking to shut down the anti-corruption agency CICIG — an effort that in the past month gained traction with baseless allegations that the CICIG has been manipulated by Russia (see also recent events in Honduras).

Read the full article here.

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