Digital technology aids fight against corruption in Latin America


Nayib Bukele won El Salvador’s presidency on an anti-corruption platform, excoriating the malfeasance of the two wartime parties that had governed the country since the 1980s, note Noah Bullock and Charles T. Call. Though Bukele delivered early on his promise to create an anti-corruption commission, he has since begun to act like an autocrat himself, vilifying critics in the press and human rights groups, painting the courts and legislature as enemies, and ordering the military to occupy the legislative assembly in 2020. After a fatal shooting at a recent opposition rally, he accused his opponents of staging the attack themselves, they write for Americas Quarterly:

If his extremely high approval ratings are any indication, Bukele’s tactic of wielding anti-corruption like a bludgeon against opposition parties, bolstering his popularity and undermining checks on his control over the state, seems to have worked. If his “New Ideas” party wins the legislative elections this month, as expected, he may be able to consolidate his power over all three branches of government….Bukele’s move to collaborate with the Organization of American States (OAS) to create the International Commission against Corruption and Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES) in 2019 thus seemed more like a token gesture.

The CICIES had few of the ingredients that had made its neighboring predecessor, Guatemala’s International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG), a success, they add: no mandate for independent investigation, no ability to help prosecute cases, no mandate to publicly press officials on malfeasance and virtually no collaboration with civil society. RTWT

As Latin America approaches the one-year mark since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the region, long-standing challenges of corruption and lack of transparency are threatening unparalleled consequences to Latin Americans’ livelihoods, notes the Center for International Private Enterprise, a partner of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

CIPE’s Anti-Corruption and Governance Center (ACGC) and Latin America and Caribbean department host a discussion (above) with experts from Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina to shine a light on how new and innovative digital technologies can strengthen anti-corruption efforts in the region and beyond.

Speakers: Mauricio Alarcon is the Executive Director of the Citizenship and Development Foundation, the national contact for Transparency International in Ecuador. He is a lawyer with a master’s degree in Public Management, having served as an alternate member of the National Constituent Assembly of Ecuador and a constitutional advisor to the Council for Citizen Participation. Mauricio is also a Fellow of the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

Laura Alonso (above) is a Reagan Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. Previously she was the head of the Anticorruption Office in Argentina, served as a Member of Congress, and was Executive Director of the national chapter of Transparency International. In 2018, Laura co-chaired the Anticorruption Working Group of the G20. She is a political scientist from the University of Buenos Aires and holds a master’s degree in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics.

Ana Linda Solano is a consulting attorney in criminal law, policy, and investigation and a Research Professor at Colombia’s Externado University and the OECD’s Latin American Academy for Investigation of Financial and Tax Crimes. Ana Linda was the Director of the Economic-Financial Police of the Attorney General’s Office. She is a member of the Board of advisors of the OECD Tax and Crime Group and a member of The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

The webinar is moderated by John Zemko, Regional Director for Latin America at CIPE.

Join @NDI @ndicentroameric, @IRI_es @OpenSociety & @TheWilsonCenter for a virtual discussion on US support to the #NorthernTriangle & lessons learned for future collaboration. Feb 11 5:00 PM ET Watch in Spanish via #Facebooklive.

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