Here’s a third WOLA podcast in which, as the United States pivots between two very different administrations, we step back and take stock of things. In this one, I talk to my colleagues Adriana Beltrán and Moses Ngong about the region’s fight against corruption: how unpunished corruption underlies so many other problems, who is fighting it, and how we must support them internationally with all we’ve got.
The United States is in a transition period between the Trump and Biden administrations. For U.S.-Latin American relations, this will mean a sharp shift between two very different visions of how Washington should work with the hemisphere.
In this episode, a third in a series about the transition, we talk about corruption and efforts to fight it. WOLA Director for Citizen Security Adriana Beltrán and Mexico Program Assistant Moses Ngong call corruption “endemic: a system, a network, a web of relations” that underlies many other problems in Latin America, from insecurity, to susceptibility to natural disasters, to forced migration.
Focusing particularly on Mexico and Central America, we discuss who the region’s anti-corruption reformers are, the challenges they face, and how the United States and other international actors can best support them. A key point for the Biden administration is that other policy goals in the Americas will be impossible to achieve without a determined approach to corruption that upholds reformers.
The work of WOLA’s Mexico and Citizen Security programs often takes on corruption. Resources mentioned in the podcast include:
- WOLA’s Central America Monitor project.
- “Mexico Faces a Test for its Anti-Corruption and Justice Reform Efforts,” published November 25, 2020.
- “Behind the Fight to Hijack Guatemala’s Justice System,” published July 10, 2020.
This is the second of a series of discussions in which the podcast will talk about the transition. Last week, we covered migration, and the week before we talked about U.S. credibility and the tone of relations. Next week, the series’ final episode will take on the state of human rights and democracy.