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US visa crackdown on corrupt Latin American officials

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US  visa crackdown on corrupt Latin American officials

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Posted 06/12/2019

The US Department of State warned on Wednesday, December 5  that they will immediately suspend the entry visas of corrupt officials in Latin America. 

In addition, they said they will take "more aggressive" measures against those involved in the illicit enrichment from the state coffers which could affect several dozen Panama officials facing corruption investigations.

The announcement was made at a press conference in Washington, DC.

The measure would be extended, for example, to the next of kin of the officials of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, who are involved in acts of corruption.

"In the coming weeks and months, the authorities will suspend their trips and the trips of their families to the United States and will name and shame them publicly ... So no more shopping trips or Disney for corrupt leaders. No more prestigious studies in the United States for members of their immediate families who benefit from stolen earnings” said Patrick Ventrell, director of the Office of International Narcotics Affairs and Law Enforcement for Western Hemisphere Programs.

“Central America, with the notable exception of Nicaragua, has been blessed with democratic institutions, young populations, and a thriving US trade and investment. However, despite these competitive advantages, Central America suffers from the perception of widespread corruption, ”said  Hugo Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary for Central America.

“In recent years, we have seen numerous Central American government officials forced to leave office, sent to prison and investigated for corruption. Not surprisingly, most people in Central America believe that corruption is widespread, ”Rodriguez added.

Panama track record
In 1999, the United States withdrew the entry visa to Panamanian President Ernesto Pérez Balladares and a group of his collaborators, by linking them to the traffic of Chinese citizens.

In 2005,  the visa to then magistrate Winston Spadafora was also suspended. Spadafora was given section 212 (F) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act - as amended by the US Patriot Act -, which suspends the entry into that country of persons “who have committed, participated or benefited from corruption in the performance of public functions where such corruption results in serious unfavorable consequences for the international activity of US companies, the objectives of US foreign aid, the security of the United States against transnational crimes and terrorism or the stability of democratic institutions and nations. ”

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/us-visa-crackdown-on-corrupt-latin-american-officials

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13 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

The US Department of State warned on Wednesday, December 5  that they will immediately suspend the entry visas of corrupt officials in Latin America. 

Bad choice of timing to release this statement which appears highly hypocritical considering current investigations and proceedings in Washington.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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US Shuts Door  on Panama’s Corrupt

Posted 08/12/2019

Each country has the right to decide who receives with open arms and, of course, who it rejects. In the case of the United States, the nation has decided to intensify its rejection of impunity for corruption in Central America, including Panama. The new measures allow the authorities of that country to cancel the visa to those they consider to be participants in corruption.

This punishment will also be applied to the close family of the allegedly corrupt and, changing the current practice, will be publicly identified businessmen, politicians and officials who have been subject to these measures.

 In our world, this amounts to a condemnation of those that do not occur in our justice system. It is easy to rule out the new measure as another American interference, or as a unilateral action of power. For those affected by these restrictions to their shopping trips, entertainment days, business meetings or studies of their children, the measure may get them to think twice before stealing from the national treasure. Increasingly, the siege of the corrupt is narrowed, so that the crime does not pay- LA PRENSA, Dec. 8

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/us-shuts-door-on-panamas-corrupt

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