22 U.S. Code § 2277 - Strategy to advance prosperity, combat corruption, strengthen democratic governance, and improve civilian security in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

(a) Elements

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 5-year strategy to advance economic prosperity, combat corruption, strengthen democratic governance, and improve civilian security in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and to curb irregular migration from the region.

(b) ConsiderationIn developing the strategy required under this section, the Secretary of State should consider the following priorities:
(1) Promoting economic prosperity, including by—
(A)
supporting market-based solutions to eliminate constraints to inclusive economic growth;
(B)
addressing the underlying causes of poverty and inequality;
(C)
responding to immediate humanitarian needs by improving humanitarian outcomes, including through access to sanitation, hygiene, and shelter, and by enabling the provision of health resources;
(D)
supporting conservation and community resilience and strengthening community preparedness for natural disasters;
(E)
identifying, as appropriate, a role for relevant United States agencies and the United States private sector in supporting efforts to increase private sector investment and advance economic prosperity; and
(F)
improving domestic resource mobilization, including by strengthening tax collection and enforcement and legal arbitration mechanisms.
(2) Combating corruption, including by—
(A)
strengthening the capacity of national justice systems and attorneys generals [1] to identify and prosecute money laundering and other financial crimes and breaking up financial holdings of organized criminal syndicates, including illegally acquired lands and proceeds from illegal activities;
(B)
strengthening special prosecutorial offices and financial institutions to conduct asset forfeitures and criminal analysis, and to combat corruption, money laundering, financial crimes, extortion, and human rights crimes;
(C)
implementing transparent, merit-based selection processes for prosecutors and judges and the development of professional and merit-based civil services;
(D)
establishing or strengthening methods, procedures for internal and external control mechanisms for the security and police services and judiciary; and
(E)
supporting anticorruption efforts through bilateral assistance and complementary support through multilateral anticorruption mechanisms when necessary.
(3) Advancing democratic governance, including by—
(A)
strengthening government institutions at the local and national levels to provide services and respond to citizen needs through transparent, inclusive, and democratic processes;
(B)
strengthening access to information laws and reforming laws that currently limit access to information;
(C)
building the capacity of independent media to engage in professional investigative journalism;
(D)
ensuring that threats and attacks on journalists, labor leaders, human rights defenders, and other members of civil society are fully investigated and perpetrators are held accountable; and
(E)
strengthening electoral institutions and processes to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.
(4) Improving security conditions, including by—
(A)
implementing the Central America Regional Security Initiative;
(B)
increasing the professionalization of security services, including the civilian police and military units;
(C)
combating the illicit activities of transnational criminal organizations through support to fully vetted elements of attorneys general offices, appropriate government institutions, and security services; and
(D)
enhancing the capacity of relevant security services and attorneys general to support counternarcotics efforts and combat human trafficking, forcible recruitment of children and youth by gangs, gender-based violence, and other illicit activities, including trafficking of wildlife, and natural resources.
(c) Consultation

In developing the strategy required under this section, the Secretary of State may consult with civil society and the private sector in the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

(d) BenchmarksThe strategy required under this section shall include annual benchmarks to track the strategy’s progress in curbing irregular migration from the region to the United States and improving conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras by measuring progress in key areas, including—
(1)
reducing poverty and unemployment, increasing private sector investment, responding to immediate humanitarian needs, sustainably reintegrating returnees, supporting conservation and community resilience, and addressing forced displacement in accordance with the priorities outlined in subsection (b)(1);
(2)
strengthening national justice systems and attorneys generals,1 supporting multilateral anticorruption mechanisms, identifying and prosecuting money laundering and other financial crimes, breaking up financial holdings of organized criminal syndicates, and advancing judicial integrity and investigative capacity of local authorities in accordance with the priorities outlined in subsection (b)(2);
(3)
strengthening government institutions at the local and national levels to provide services and respond to citizen needs through transparent, inclusive, and democratic processes, promoting human rights, building the capacity of independent media, developing the capacity of civil society to conduct oversight, affording legal protections for human rights defenders and members of civil society, and strengthening electoral institutions in accordance with priorities outlined in subsection (b)(3); and
(4)
implementing the objectives stated under the Central America Regional Security Initiative and building the capacity of civilian security services in accordance with the priorities outlined in subsection (b)(4).
(e) Public diplomacy

The strategy required under this section shall include a public diplomacy strategy for educating citizens of the region about United States assistance and its benefits to them, and informing such citizens of the dangers of irregular migration to the United States.

(f) Annual progress updates

Not later than 1 year after the submission of the strategy required under this section and annually thereafter for 4 years, the Secretary of State shall provide the appropriate congressional committees with a written description of progress made in meeting the benchmarks established in the strategy.

(g) Public availability

The strategy required under this section shall be made publicly available on the website of the Department of State. If appropriate, a classified annex may be submitted to the appropriate congressional committees.

(h) DefinitionIn this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—
(1)
the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
(2)
the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.


[1]  So in original.
Editorial Notes
Codification

Section was enacted as part of the United States – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, and not as part of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 which comprises this chapter.

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