June 1, 2016
Dear Honorable Senator Marco Rubio,
We are writing this letter to express our deep concern in the reelection campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras.
A day ago you applauded the actions of the OAS against President Nicolas Maduro and his totalitarian regime in Venezuela. Honduras, is a similar case of a totalitarian regime that violates the Constitution and forgets about the checks and balances that a democracy should have. Since, the time when Juan Orlando Hernández was president of Congress in the term 2010-2014, he paved his path to continue in power at all costs, turning Honduras democracy into a totalitarian state.
The path to a totalitarian regime began in September 2012, when the Honduran Congress lead by Hernández approved a bill that aimed to impeach 4 of the 5 Justices of the Honduran Supreme Court. The law was passed and this action of Congress was a clear breach of the checks and balances of the three branches of government.
In April 2015, the new Supreme Court approved an appeal made by former President Rafael Leonardo Callejas to declare Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution inapplicable, therefore giving a free path to reelection. For your information this year, former President Rafael Leonardo Callejas, notable leader of the National Party, plead guilty and is waiting for sentence in the United States, for crimes related to corruption in FIFA.
In the United States, a country where leaders respect the Constitution, a breach by the President to any other branches of government would result in an immediate action to review the articles of impeachment.
We are against reelection because we think that the outcome will be favorable to President Hernández and his corruption machinery. The biggest corruption case in the history of Honduras, was during the last government term. Allegedly, around USD$350 million was embezzled by authorities of the Social Security Institute (IHSS, INSTITUTO HONDUREÑO DE SEGURIDAD SOCIAL) and thousands of dollars were funneled to Presidential Campaign of President Hernández. The Social Security Institute is responsible of offering healthcare to all of the working force in Honduras, and right now is totally broke leaving honduran citizens without healthcare.
The leaders of the National Party were in charge of running the Healthcare Commission in Congress during the term 2010-2014. Mauricio Oliva was president of this commission during this term. Today, Oliva holds the office of President of Congress.
Former Vice President of Congress (2010-2014) Lena Gutierrez, is being accused of crimes against public health for selling drugs made with flour, costing the Honduran Social Security Institute as much as USD$120 million.
Although, President Hernández is the head only to the Executive Branch, clearly he also controls the Legislative and Judicial Branch.
The corruption scheme doesn’t end there. On January 13, 2014, right before Juan Orlando Hernández took power of the Executive Branch, another controversial law was passed. The Law of Official Secrets and Classification of Public Information. This new law reserves the power to release or not to release information to the public will reside with individual institutions of government and their leaders, opening the way for obvious conflicts of interest and thus even greater tendencies for abuse and corruption.
The Law of Official Secrets and Classification of Public Information contradicts with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) passed by a democratic nation like the United States. The FOIA gives every citizen the right to access information from the federal government. Most recently, the Honduran Internal Revenue Service (DEI, Dirección Ejecutiva de Ingresos) was closed by the President Hernandez orders and now the new institution (SAR, Servicio Administración de Rentas) will be protected by this secrecy law. Honduran contributors, have lost the right to audit the government on the taxes they pay.
Hondurans wonder where their taxes are being spend on. Recently, President Hernández traveled to Denmark to attend the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. He rented a luxury jet from Vista Jet a company whose clients include celebrities such as Beyonce and Mariah Carey.
Imagine if you Senator, would rent this type of luxurious travel in your Presidential Campaign? The critics would have crucified you and the FEC would have open an investigation to your campaign funding.
Lastly, hondurans claim for help to stop this reelection campaign and request the honduran authorities to amend the Secrecy Law in order to have a transparent government. We know the influence that the United States have on Honduran politics, your voice is our last resort. The GOP will applaud an action to stop corruption in developing countries. Please, make this action possible.
Hondurans Who Don’t Approve Reelection