TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduran lawmakers have repealed legislation that critics dubbed the “official secrets law” for classifying public documents on national security and defense, marking one of the first efforts under a new leftist administration to curb corruption.
President Xiomara Castro, who took office in January, had made campaign vows to repeal the law along with others that she said prevent government officials from being investigated and prosecuted for graft.
The so-called secrets law took effect in 2014 under former President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was arrested in February after a U.S. extradition request on drug trafficking and weapons charges.
Honduras’ Congress voted Tuesday evening to repeal the law, which proponents during Hernandez’s administration had said was needed to avoid jeopardizing police operations against drug cartels and gangs by keeping certain documents and contracts from public view.
“We have repealed the law of secrets, an instrument that encouraged corruption for eight years in Honduras,” said Luis Redondo, the president of Congress.
The move will become official once published in the country’s official legal gazette.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Aurora Ellis)