Corruption in Honduras

Corruption, the intentional misuse of public resources for personal gain, is difficult to measure, because by its nature so much of it is hidden. Instead, Transparency International, the world’s largest anti-corruption organization, measures residents’ perception of the corruption in their countries, using surveys to build a picture of people affected by bribes, extortion, and other unjust abuse of public power and resources.

In Transparency International’s 2017 index, Honduras ranked 135th out of 177 countries, with a score of 29/100. (By contrast, New Zealand and Denmark, the top-ranking countries, scored 89 and 88 out of 100).

LA corruption ranking 2017.PNG

Honduras’ Corruption Perceptions Index has grown since 2015, as residents' perceptions of corruption are greater. While anti-corruption efforts are making strides in Honduras, much work remains to be done.

Corruption, particularly in government administration and police, is rampant in Honduras, and convictions in cases of corruption are rare. A 2016 study showed that in the previous eight years, only one guilty sentence had resulted in jail time.

Nonetheless, Honduras has made important advances in transparency. There is an increased openness to international and local organizations, including an auditing and oversight agreement with Transparency International/the Association for a More Just Society and the inauguration of international anti-corruption body MACCIH. Participation from civil society and international cooperation has helped to hold the Honduran government accountable, and achieve trials and convictions in several important corruption cases.

World Corruption 2017.PNG

What is being done about corruption in Honduras? AJS acts as Transparency International’s national chapter in Honduras, and carries out many anti-corruption and transparency initiatives. AJS has worked to uproot corruption by revealing political favoritism in education hiring, uncovering fradulent public contracts, and monitoring the Honduran government in areas such as health, education, security and justice, infraestructure projects, and tax adminstration. Read more about AJS’s work in anti-corruption.

Sources and Statistics: Transparency International, Insight Crime

Updated December 2018


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The New York Times published an opinion piece by Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winning author and also our good friend, about the problems facing Honduras. For those of us who love Honduras, it is not an easy read - but we have seen change and we remain hopeful.