In Honduras, three members of Congress, the Deputy Minister and more than a dozen others were arrested on charges of embezzlement of $ 12 million.
Public funds allocated to agricultural projects for rural farmers and young mothers have been directed to political campaigns.
A Honduran judge ordered the arrest of 37 people following an investigation into the theft of election campaign funds in the 2013 presidential election by the Organization of American States (OAS) anti-corruption Agency and the Honduran Prosecutor’s Office, Reuters reported.
The investigation, known as “Pandora”, led by the OAS Mission to support the fight against corruption and impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) revealed leakage of public funds of agricultural projects designed to assist young mothers in the personal accounts of candidates for office and the Treasury both sides.
The money was taken from the state Department of agriculture and transmitted through two non-profit organizations – Fund Dibattista and Todos Somos Hondurenos. They were intended for agricultural projects that were supposed to help rural farmers and young mothers. Instead, the money was transferred to the personal accounts of Congressional candidates, aspiring mayors and top-level candidates to both the ruling National party and the Liberal party.
The accused are charged with abuse of power, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, forgery and use of government documents.
President Hernandez did not comment on the arrests or allegations that part of his presidential campaign in 2013 was funded with embezzled public money.