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Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California

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Members Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Reaffirming U.S. Commitment to Fighting Corruption in Central America

February 16, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Reps. Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and John R. Moolenaar (R-MI), joined by Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), and Albio Sires (D-NJ), introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to reaffirm the United States Congress’s commitment to fighting corruption in Central America.

 

The resolution states that efforts to fight corruption must remain at the center of U.S. policy in Central America, that the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) are important contributions to these efforts, and that the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador should cooperate with MACCIH and CICIG and the Attorneys General of the region.

 

“Combatting corruption is the key to progress on all fronts in Central America, from addressing drug and human trafficking to reducing sexual violence to creating greater economic opportunities,” said Rep. Torres, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “In Guatemala, we have seen CICIG lead the way under the strong leadership of Ivan Velázquez and with the support of President Jimmy Morales.  The progress they have achieved thus far underscores how important it is for governments throughout the region to cooperate with anti-corruption efforts.  I am proud to introduce this resolution with Congressman John Moolenaar and with strong support from leaders on both sides of the aisle to reaffirm Congress’s commitment to being a productive partner in the fight against corruption.”

 

“I join Congresswoman Torres in support of this resolution. It is a strong signal to our friends and allies in Central America that the United States is aware of the challenges they face and is ready to support them in creating a better future for their countries,” said Rep. Moolenaar.

 

“With this resolution, our Congress is coming together in a bipartisan manner to say loud and clear that we strongly support the valiant efforts by the Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran people to put an end to corruption and impunity,” said Rep. Engel, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  “As we continue to provide much-needed U.S. assistance to Central America, the fight against corruption must be front and center.”

 

“A more stable and prosperous Central America means a more secure homeland,” said Rep. McCaul, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.  As such, the importance of our continued focused on strong partnerships and enhanced governance in the Northern Triangle cannot be overstated.  I am proud to stand with my colleagues in Congress on this united front and look forward building off the gains made over the years to root out corruption, crack down on illicit activities like narcotics and human trafficking, and bring increased opportunity and prosperity to the region.”

 

“The officials working to root out corruption in the Northern Triangle are putting their country first, often at great risk to their own lives,” said Rep. Sires, Ranking Member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee.  “I applaud their efforts to bring real and lasting change to the region that will help give every child in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador a chance at a safe and happy future. I thank my colleague Congresswoman Torres for introducing this important and timely resolution.”  

 

In recent years, the people of Central America have grown increasingly frustrated with government corruption, a scourge throughout the region and one of the top obstacles to development. As a result of popular discontent, initiatives to combat corruption have advanced in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The United States has supported these initiatives, and this resolution underscores the United States’ continued support for anti-corruption efforts in Central America.

 

The resolution has also been cosponsored by Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), David Valadao (R-CA), and Don Young (R-AK).  A link to the resolution can be found HERE.