U.S. sanctions 39 in Central America for corruption and undemocratic actions

The U.S. government announced targeted sanctions against 39 people in four Central American countries in compliance with the State Department’s Corrupt and Undemocratic Actors Report given to Congress.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken named 13 Nicaraguans, 10 Guatemalans, 10 Hondurans and six Salvadorans corrupt actors, making them ineligible for visas and forbidding their entry into the United States.

“We continue to use all available tools to promote accountability towards corrupt actors and those who undermine democratic governance,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said. “We call on all leaders, civil society actors, journalists, the private sector, and the international community to join in this effort to strengthen democratic governance and end corruption.” 

The department determined the 39 people engaged in significant corruption, actions that undermine democratic processes or institutions, and obstructed investigations into corruption in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. These include bribery, embezzlement, money laundering and bringing false charges against journalists.

Section 353 of the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act requires the report and compels the State Department to create strategies for encouraging economic development and fighting corruption and other issues of concern in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Man wearing sash looking to the right (© Luis Romero/AP)
Former President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador stands in the National Assembly June 1, 2012, in San Salvador, El Salvador. A report says that Funes engaged in significant corruption by orchestrating and participating in several schemes involving bribery, embezzlement and money laundering while president. (© Luis Romero/AP)