Honduras: Political Risk Analysis for 2021
Over five years have passed since Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was killed on March 3, 2016. Over the last half decade investigations and trials have shone some light on the overlapping ties between Honduras’ insular group of political and business elites and organized crime groups. In 2021, the U.S. State Department accused former Honduran President Jose Lobo Sosa of accepting bribes from drug trafficking organizations. In March 2021, a judge in New York sentenced the brother of current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to life in prison for drug trafficking charges. Prosecutors in the U.S. suspect that President Hernandez’s ascent in politics was funded with illicit cash flows. In 2020, Transparency International ranked Honduras among the world’s most corrupt countries, 157 out of 180, slightly ahead of Iraq, Afghanistan and Venezuela, but far worse than Colombia, Panama, and Mexico. Honduras recorded 3,496 murders in 2020. In terms of murder rate, it’s the second most violent country in Central or South America, trailing only Venezuela. Corruption, poor governance, and violence continue to drive Hondurans to migrate. Over 250,000 Hondurans were detained at the U.S. border in 2019. The topic of political corruption will hang over Honduras upcoming presidential election, which is scheduled for November 28, 2021. Investors doing due diligence on potential investment projects in Honduras need to understand the political risk outlook for 2021.