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US Sanctions 7 Central American Officials Over Alleged Corruption

© AFP 2021 / SAUL LOEBUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.09.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has sanctioned seven Central American officials, including Guatemala's Attorney General, over alleged corruption, US State Secretary Antony Blinken announced on Monday.
"Today we are adding seven perpetrators to the United States’ Undemocratic and Corrupt Actors list, under section 353 of the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which generally makes the perpetrators ineligible for visas and admission to the United States," Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken pointed out that the United States is committed to supporting the people of northern Central America by fortifying democracy, rule of law and accountability, which he said are the keys to a brighter future.
"To advance this priority, today we are adding seven perpetrators to the United States’ Undemocratic and Corrupt Actors list, under section 353 of the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which generally makes the perpetrators ineligible for visas and admission to the United States," the statement said.
In El Salvador, the US government sanctioned Elsy Duenas De Aviles, Oscar Alberto Lopez Jerez, Hector Nahun Martinez Garcia, Jose Angel Perez Chacon, and Luis Javier Suarez Magana, who are current Magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, the statement said.
The magistrates undermined democratic processes or institutions by accepting direct appointments to the Chamber by the Legislative Assembly, in a process that appears to have contravened the Salvadoran constitution, the statement also said.
The previous five Magistrates were abruptly removed without legitimate cause following the May 1 seating of the newly elected Legislative Assembly," the statement added.
In Guatemala, the US government sanctioned Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta De Porres, current Attorney General, who, according to Washington "obstructed investigations into acts of corruption by interfering with criminal investigations," the statement said.
Also Guatemala's Angel Arnoldo Pineda Avila, current Secretary-General of the MP, "obstructed investigations into acts of corruption by interfering in anti-corruption probes," and was also sanctioned, the statement added.
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