The U.S. State Department lists several politicians and officials in Guatamela, Honduras and El Salvador as “religiously accused” of corruption.
A U.S. State Department report on Central American officials being “credible said.” corrupt accompanying five Salvadoran officials (PDF) in relation to President Nayib Bukele, six sitting Honduran lawmakers and two Guatemalan lawmakers, agreed to a list released (PDF) through the office of U.S. Representative Norma Torres on Tuesday.
The list came out less than a week after the United States special envoy for Central America, Ricardo Zuniga, visited The Savior and met Bukele amid U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration’s push to tackle corruption and strengthen the rule of law in the region.
In the report I requested, which is now public, the U.S. government recognized the irregularities denied and tried to hide by the Central American authorities and their allies.
– Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) May 18, 2021
The U.S. has made strengthening democracy one of the pillars of its policy toward Central America, saying rampant corruption is one of the root causes of illegal immigration.
“We can’t expect the people of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to thrive at home while their elected officials are more focused on self -enrichment than public service,” said Torres, a California Democrat who led of the Central American Caucus, said in a statement. on Tuesday.
“This list is a strong step, but it is only the first step toward holding officials accountable.”
The newly-started Open Ideas party was to collapse the legislature election in February through a landslide, control of the unicameral congress and voting immediately this month to remove the main fiscal fighter. of corruption and numerous high court justices obstructing the president’s agenda.
While Bukele has remained wildly at home after decades of bad rule that followed the end of the country’s bloody civil war, his U.S. critics say that by focusing on power he has weakened already weak institutions.
The most famous official on the list is Bukele’s cabinet leader, Carolina Recinos, who has worked with the president since he entered politics as a small town mayor for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front formed by the rebels in no wing after civil termination. war. There are no details of Recinos’ alleged wrongdoing.
Rogelio Rivas, who was last month replaced as minister of security and justice, was also elected. The State Department said Rivas was allegedly awarded by his own construction company several uncompetitive, anonymous contracts to build police stations and other buildings that fell under his official competence and completion. increased the cost of materials.
Also present was lawmaker Guillermo Gallegos, a founder of the GANA party that violated El Salvador’s bipartisan system to support Bukele’s run for the presidency in 2019.
Two other FMLN lawmakers – Sigfrido Reyes and Jose Luis Merino, later a vice minister of foreign relations in the FMLN government who headed Bukele’s administration – were also involved.
Bukele, who this year accuses the U.S. of being heavy-handed, used paradox to dismiss the report, a copy of which circulated early Monday on social media. He said he was shocked that El Salvador’s “friends” after checking their archives did not find even a single instance of corruption within the conservative party ARENA – he has always been a target.
“Maybe they consider them all saints,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s why they insist we bring them back to power.”