Central America Needs a Commission to Prosecute Corruption, Not a War on Migration

Victoria Sanford had an interesting opinion piece published in BarrioZona in advance of the visit to Guatemala of the United States Vice President, Kamala Harris.

Following a virtual bilateral meeting last month with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a $310 million humanitarian aid package to Central America. Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo followed by announcing an agreement with the United States to establish a new joint border protection task force that would include 16 Department of Homeland Security officials. Two weeks after Harris’s first phone call with Giammattei and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in late March, the Biden Administration began to militarize Mexico and Central America with proxy forces on their shared borders, including the deployment of 10,000 Mexican troops on its border with Guatemala, 1,500 Guatemalan troops on its border with Honduras, and a “surge” of 7,000 troops within Honduras.

While humanitarian aid is desperately needed, beefing up security forces in Central America while cozying up to authoritarian leaders will only exacerbate the criminality and corruption pushing so many families and youth to seek haven in the United States. Shadowy relations between police, the judiciary, cartels, organized crime, and gangs fuse daily life with fear while also facilitating undocumented migration through trafficking networks. To stem migration from Central America, we need an internationally supported commission to investigate and prosecute corruption throughout the region – not the U.S.-led working group on corruption that is currently under consideration. The United States must carefully choose its institutional partners.

You can read the full thought provoking piece here, Central America Needs a Commission to Prosecute Corruption, Not a War on Migration.

Hay una versión en español de este artículo aquí, Centroamérica necesita una comisión regional para perseguir la corrupción, no una guerra contra la migración.

Categories: Corruption, Criminalisation, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Legal, Lobbying, Migration, Poverty, Solidarity in Action

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