Head of OAS anti-corruption mission in Honduras resigns

FILE PHOTO: Juan Jimenez, spokesman of the OAS Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), speaks during a news conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The head of the Organization of American States’ anti-corruption mission in Honduras said on Thursday he would resign over a lack of support from authorities in the Central American country and clashes with OAS leadership.

“With great regret and after deep reflection, I announce my resignation,” Juan Jimenez, a Peruvian, wrote in a post on Twitter explaining the reasons for his departure.

Jimenez, who previously served as minister of justice in Peru, also attributed his resignation to differences of opinion with Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the OAS.

“This mission can’t work without the support of the secretary,” he said in an interview on local television.

The Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) was created by the OAS in 2016 at the request of the Honduran government.

The request followed months of popular marches demanding investigation of corruption in Honduras by an autonomous group, such as the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

Jimenez, 53, resigned the day after Almagro sent a letter to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez criticizing the results of the mission.

A phone call to President Hernandez’s office went unanswered, and the OAS was not able to immediately respond to an e-mail for comment.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; additional reporting by Enrique Andres Pretel; writing by Julia Love; editing by Tom Hogue