TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — In a story June 13 about Honduran prosecutors accusing politicians and officials of diverting government funds, The Associated Press reported erroneously the origin of an anti-corruption mission in the country. The…
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — In a story June 13 about Honduran prosecutors accusing politicians and officials of diverting government funds, The Associated Press reported erroneously the origin of an anti-corruption mission in the country. The mission is backed by the Organization of American States, not the United Nations.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Honduras probe: Funds diverted to president’s 2013 campaign
Prosecutors in Honduras are accusing politicians, officials and others of diverting $11.7 million in government funds to political parties, including the 2013 campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernandez
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Prosecutors accused politicians and officials Wednesday of having diverted $11.7 million in Honduran government funds to political parties, including the 2013 campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
Federal prosecutors and an Organization of American States-backed mission on corruption asked the country’s Supreme Court to issue arrest warrants for 38 politicians, officials and private citizens.
The scheme came to light when Italian investor and former honorary consul Pietro Di Battista complained to authorities that his nonprofit organization, the Dibattista foundation, had been used for shadowy purposes.
The accused allegedly took money from the agriculture department and channeled it through foundations or non-governmental groups to Hernandez’s National Party, the opposition Liberal Party and a smaller third party, the Broad Front.
Part of the funds were allegedly used to finance so-called “Cachureca” cards — discount cards that were handed out as part of Hernandez’s campaign. Cachureca is a slang term for National Party members.
“The investigation has found sufficient evidence that money destined for agricultural and agro-industrial projects were used to finance the campaigns of the National Party and the Liberal Party in 2013,” said Ana Maria Calderon, the head of the OAS mission.
Despite term limits, Hernandez ran for re-election last year and was declared the winner in a vote that the opposition claims was marred by fraud.