HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador, UN Agree to Anti-Impunity Program
BRIEF

El Salvador, UN Agree to Anti-Impunity Program

EL SALVADOR / 26 JAN 2016 BY QUENTON KING AND DAVID GAGNE EN

The United Nations has announced the creation of a US-financed anti-graft program in El Salvador, underscoring the United States' resolution to tackle corruption in Central America's gang-plagued Northern Triangle region. 

On January 25, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the establishment of an anti-corruption program in El Salvador, reported Reuters. The program will work with existing institutions by training Salvadoran officials to detect and investigate cases of corruption, reported El Diario De Hoy

However, the program will lack the broad investigative powers enjoyed by the UN-backed anti-impunity commission in Guatemala, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG).

"This is not the CICIG," said Monica Mendoza, a UNODC representative who will oversee the program.

The CICIG has been instrumental in investigating several high-level politicians in Guatemala for graft, including former President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti, both of whom are currently in prison awaiting trial. 

The US government will finance the three-year project, although the budget is not yet known. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The United States is making a strong push to combat corruption in El Salvador, which along with Honduras and Guatemala make up Central America's Northern Triangle region. In addition to the new UN program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is sponsoring a separate anti-corruption body in El Salvador with a price tag of $25 million. The US government has also pressured El Salvador to accept a UN commission with a mandate and investigative authority similar to the CICIG in Guatemala, albeit without success.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador News and Profiles

This emphasis on combating corruption is linked in part to the Central American migrant crisis that has overwhelmed the US immigration system in recent years. The US Congress recently earmarked $750 million for aid programs that will attempt to address rampant gang violence and poverty, which has ravaged the Northern Triangle and driven millions from their homes.

But US officials are fearful this money could go to waste unless corruption is addressed. Indeed, 75 percent of the aid money is conditioned on Northern Triangle governments reducing the level of corruption and impunity while improving rule of law standards.

Still, this anti-corruption push may not amount to much without more support from the region's governments. The UN and USAID programs in El Salvador are by design much weaker than the CICIG, while similar concerns have been raised about the anti-impunity body that was recently launched in Honduras. This means government officials will continue to be responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases of graft, something for which neither El Salvador nor Honduras has a strong track record.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 FEB 2021

Federal prosecutors have specified in a recently filed court document that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has been under investigation…

ELITES AND CRIME / 18 MAY 2022

Guatemala has reappointed Attorney General Consuelo Porras for a second term despite her track record as a shield for top…

ELITES AND CRIME / 9 APR 2021

Recent punitive action taken by the United States against Paraguayan officials has reinforced how far corruption underpins the South American…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…