Villeda Carves Out Niche as Anti-Corruption Candidate

I did not get involved in politics to get rich; it’s enough with what God has given us. We want to make politics ethical, and that means doing with corruption once and for all.

-Mauricio Villeda

Honduras Weekly
In response to concerns over the past two years that political parties in Honduras have been infiltrated by individuals with ties to organized crime, Liberal Party presidential candidate Mauricio Villeda on Friday asked the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to evaluate the list of people involved in his Villedista faction or “movement”. Mr. Villeda wants to demonstrate publicly that those who support his candidacy are honest people and are not involved in illegal activities such as narcotrafficking. Campaigning in the northern city of Puerto Cort├ęs earlier this month, Mr. Villeda said, “What is needed is a change of attitude so that the country can eradicate the corruption which today prevents us from providing nutrition, education, and healthcare to thousands of Hondurans who demand to have a central government and municipal governments based on ethical and moral principles and values.”

Just over a week later, campaigning in Tegucigalpa, Mr. Villeda stressed, “We do not want anymore corruption nor white collar thieves in the city halls of the country, nor do we want more impunity.” He added, “I did not get involved in politics to get rich; it’s enough with what God has given us. We want to make politics ethical, and that means doing with corruption once and for all.”

Public interest in the issue of corruption within political parties, and specifically the infiltration of the parties by people with ties to organized crime, was raised on June 29 when Catholic priest Fausto Milla warned that the Liberty and Refoundation (Libre) Party is backing political candidates known to be major narcotraffackers. Since then, more than two dozen regional coordinators of Libre have left their party and thrown their support behind Mr. Villeda. (7/8/12)

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