The US promises to support Central Americans in the fight against corruption

The United States special envoy for the Northern Triangle of Central America, Ricardo Zúñiga, said on Wednesday that the government of his country will support the efforts of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to combat corruption.

“The (President Joe’s) Administration Biden It has made it very clear that the fight against corruption is fundamental in our support to the Central American countries, ”Zúñiga said in a brief statement to the press during a two-day visit to El Salvador.

Zúñiga said that corruption is an evil “that contaminates all government functions,” but also “damages society in a very profound way.”

In fact, the United States special envoy to the Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, considered that corruption is also a factor that drives the phenomenon of irregular migration to the United States.

“The consequences (of corruption) disproportionately impact the most vulnerable population, men, women and children who migrate to another country in a desperate search to survive and have a positive future,” said Zúñiga.

In the case of El Salvador, the envoy highlighted the manifest “desire” of President Nayib Bukele to fight corruption, and applauded the fact that he “opened” his cabinet to be audited on the use of public funds during the pandemic at a International Commission against Impunity (CICIES).

The CICIES was installed in September 2019 at the request of the Bukele government with the help of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The CICIES commissioner, Ronalth Ochaeta, said together with Zúñiga that the commission has provided 25 technical assistance to the Salvadoran prosecutor’s office in corruption cases since its installation.

“We want to support the government of El Salvador in its efforts to break the cycle of corruption,” said Zúñiga.

The envoy announced that the United States will grant a cooperation of two million dollars in support of the CICIES.

This Wednesday a dozen Salvadoran civil society organizations asked Congress to create a law that allows the CICIES “independence from the Executive body”, something on which President Bukele does not agree.

“I’m sure it would be the worst thing we could do,” said the president on his Twitter account.

Zúñiga will conclude his visit to El Salvador on Thursday, and so far neither the government nor the US embassy have specified whether he will meet with Bukele.

Source AFP