This article first appeared in El Economista on June 3, 2021.
The US government announced that it will continue to fund Non-Governmental Organizations and investigative journalists around the world in compliance with one of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy objectives to denounce and combat international corruption.
From Mexico, the news is read as a clear response to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after a cascade of criticism against the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The website of Mexican weekly Proceso reported that two White House National Security Council officials detailed that the rule will be in effect.
“The fight against corruption is a central part of President Biden’s foreign policy…. we should encourage exposure of corruption, so he will continue to fund NGOs and investigative journalists to do so,” one of the sources indicated in a press teleconference.
In spite of the existence of a diplomatic note from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador requesting an explanation and a halt to the financing of the Organization Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), headed by Claudio X. González, the weekly pointed out that the officials made no mention of the letter sent on May 6 and of which, so far, there has been no response from the United States.
The Mexican president considers that the United States is financing political opponents of his government.
During several mornings he has insisted on the issue, and last Monday he expressed his annoyance for not having received a response to his diplomatic letter from the United States.
Harris, in the Senate?
Regarding the visit that Vice President Kamala Harris will make to Mexico next Tuesday, yesterday it was reported that the Senate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are analyzing the possible cancellation that Harris would make to the Senate due to the polarization of the deputies derived from the electoral process.
Fight against corruption
Yesterday, Thursday, the U.S. government issued a new directive to federal agencies to prioritize efforts to identify and combat corruption.
According to the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM), the mechanisms of action of the Treasury Department will be strengthened, which has the authority to freeze bank accounts and confiscate assets under its jurisdiction, belonging to alleged persons accused of corruption.
What is USAID and what does it do?
– The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal agency responsible for planning and administering economic and humanitarian assistance to partner countries.
– It funds projects that contribute to the self-sufficiency and resilience of beneficiaries in sectors such as agriculture and food security, environment, energy and infrastructure, education, global health, humanitarian assistance, among others.
– In its work with Mexico, USAID partners with local actors such as NGOs and the public sector to promote transparency, justice, human rights and security.