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The United States allocates $ 2 million to strengthen the commission against impunity

This was announced by Ricardo Zúñiga, who said that Joe Biden’s government is “proud” to support this fight in El Salvador.

Beyond rhetoric and constantly identifying the fight against corruption as its priority, the United States has devoted more resources to that battle against the abuse of public resources.

On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s special envoy to the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zúñiga, announced that the United States will allocate $ 2 million to the International Commission Against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES).

“The United States is proud to support the work of CICIES and the Office of the Prosecutor, and is making a donation of more than $ 2 million. This is part of our commitment. The United States accompanies them in this fight, ”said Zúñiga.

Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS reacted after the Zúñiga announcement in El Salvador: “We salute the support of the United States for OEA_CICIES in El Salvador. We reaffirm our full commitment to the fight against corruption. In the face of corruption, zero tolerance ”, he wrote on Twitter.

Keep reading: Envoy from Biden to the Northern Triangle meets with the Attorney General and the head of the CICIES in El Salvador

This contribution is part of the United States’ commitment to strengthen the Salvadoran institutional framework in charge of combating the misuse of public resources or the diversion of these to “selfish” interests, explained the diplomat.

The attorney general, Raúl Melara, thanked the United States for supporting CICIES. Photo: EDH / Yessica Hompanera

In addition, Zúñiga mentioned that one of the lessons that the United States learned from the anti-impunity commissions in Guatemala (the CICIG) and in Honduras (the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, MACCIH) is that in order to function, it must collaborate strongly with the Prosecutor’s Office and have the support of the country’s political class.

In Honduras and Guatemala, the commissions perished due to the meager support of the governments or even to the determined blockade of political and business elites that were threatened by the fight against corruption.

Therefore, in El Salvador, in addition to financial autonomy, sectors of civil society are demanding that the CICIES be given greater independence from the Executive by approving its framework agreement in the Legislative Assembly, as well as providing it with more “teeth ”, Such as the ability to sue in corruption cases.

That was one of the points in favor of the commission in Guatemala, which joined forces with the local prosecutor’s office to unravel a network of customs fraud led by then-president Otto Pérez.

The attorney general, Raúl Melara, thanked the United States for supporting CICIES and said that the role that the North American country is playing in the fight against corruption is fundamental.

He also expressed satisfaction with the joint work with the commission. “This effort and this commitment that the United States Government is taking today to strengthen the CICIES is important because indirectly it will allow the Prosecutor’s Office to continue investigating,” said Raúl Melara.

Ochaeta added that he has sent 12 notices of possible crimes in 5 state portfolios to the Prosecutor’s Office, although he did not detail the cases or the institutions.

Attorney General Raúl Melara, who also participated in this bilateral meeting, said that “it is essential that the rulers and the entire political class commit to providing the tools to combat corruption and impunity.”

In addition: Joe Biden’s envoy reiterates in Guatemala that it is a US priority to strengthen democracy in the Northern Triangle

This meeting of Zúñiga in El Salvador comes at the end of a two-day visit to Guatemala, where he met with President Alejandro Giammattei and numerous members of the cabinet. There, he stressed that the rule of law and democratic governance are central axes of Joe Biden’s policy towards the region.

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