This article first appeared in La Hora on September 24, 2021.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved six measures to combat corruption abroad through a defense bill, Transparency International (TI) reported today.
According to a statement released Friday, six measures to combat corruption and kleptocracy around the world were approved.
“Adopted as part of the annual House defense bill (known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022), the measures include the Foreign Corruption Accountability Act, the Justice for Victims of Kleptocracy Act, the Transnational Accountability and Repression Prevention and Accountability Act, the Global Corruption Act, the reauthorization of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,” TI added.
One of the measures requires the Administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to determine whether the 35 kleptocrats and government officials named by Russian political opposition leader Alexei Navalny meet the criteria for sanction under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights.
“Each of the measures is supported by a coalition of civil society organizations working to promote transparency and accountability in government,” Transparency International reported.
TOOLS WILL IMPROVE CAPACITY TO SANCTION THE CORRUPT
Scott Greytak, Transparency International-USA’s (TI-US) Director of Advocacy, noted that these tools will improve the U.S. government’s ability to sanction corrupt actors.
“These measures will improve our nation’s ability to sanction corrupt actors, increase transparency, provide actionable information to victims of corruption around the world, and encourage coordinated anti-corruption efforts among the United States and our allies.”
“Corruption allows a small group of people to acquire power and protection. It is the lifeblood of violent extremists, drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal enterprises, and authoritarian governments in every corner of the world,” he added.
He also stressed that corruption is a major cause of violence, mass migration, environmental degradation, economic volatility, and the suppression of freedom of expression and other human rights around the world. “It is for these and other reasons that the Biden Administration recently designated the fight against foreign corruption as a core U.S. national security interest,” they remarked.
THEY CALL ON THE SENATE TO “DO THE SAME.”
The House of Representatives has recognized the threat posed by foreign corruption by passing six measures that will help expose and counter corruption around the world, they noted.
Finally, they stressed that the Senate must do the same quickly by including these measures in its next version of the annual defense bill.
ENGEL LIST WAS UPDATED
The measures come in the same week that the State Department included seven Central American officials on the Engel List, including Attorney General María Consuelo Porras and the Secretary-General of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Ángel Pineda.
Both are accused by the US government of obstructing investigations of acts of corruption and in the case of Consuelo Porras of firing Juan Francisco Sandoval from the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Corruption.