May 11, 2008

A billion here, a billion there...

Cartoon by Dario Banegas, La Prensa, Honduras

A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there....almost a billion a year and pretty soon you are talking about some real money. Inflation, you know. It used to be a million.

I read
this incredible article on Corruption in Honduras in 2007 was estimated by FOSDEH (the social forum of external debt of Honduras) to be US $894 million annually, which represents 50% of the annual budget of the decentralized government institutions.

I've read some articles about small-time government officials being prosecuted lately. In one case, the accused was made to pay L.15,000 lempiras (US $794) (the article didn't state how much he had stolen but it sounds profitable), in another the accused was fined 10 desks to be donated to a school, and in another, the guilty party was able to buy his way out of a prison sentence for L.15 per day (US 75 cents per day) as is allowed by Honduran law.

In another case, a mayor stole L.1 million of foreign aid funds allocated to his town. He promised to pay it back and that was the end of the story.

That is Honduran justice for you!

This link will give you the article translated to English by Google.

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