TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that he welcomes an investigation into allegations of corruption in the awarding of contracts and concession agreements for the Agua Zarca energy project in western Honduras.
Renowned environmental activist Berta Cáceres made these allegations before her untimely death last year. The Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), an independent group created by the Organization of American States, will conduct the investigation, in conjunction with the Honduran Attorney General's Special Office for Ethnic and Cultural Heritage.
"My administration is committed to rooting out corruption in Honduras, and this investigation will help us fulfill that commitment," said President Hernández. "No one is above the law in our nation, and we will aggressively prosecute any crimes unearthed by the investigation."
The MACCIH has indicated that it will examine the way in which the contract for Agua Zarca project was awarded to Desarrollos Energetics SA (DESA). Two of the eight suspects the Honduran government has detained as part of the investigation in to Berta Cáceres's murder have been linked to DESA.
The Mission will also be looking for any irregularities in environmental licenses and studies regarding property titling. In addition, the investigation will explore how the environmental licenses were granted. Darío Roberto Cardona Valle, the former deputy minister of the Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment, has already been detained for acts related to granting a license without properly informing and consulting indigenous peoples in the area.
"Honduras asked the Organization of American States to create the MACCIH, and it's been operating with the full support of our government since the beginning of last year," said President Hernández. "If the MACCIH uncovers any evidence of wrongdoing, we will work to bring those responsible to justice."
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SOURCE Republic of Honduras