BUREAU OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS
July 29, 2020
The United States is a steadfast partner for the countries and institutions of Latin America and the Caribbean in their efforts to combat corruption and realize the promise of the Lima Commitment from the Eighth Summit of the Americas hosted by Peru in 2018.
Strengthening Democratic Governance against Corruption
Transparency is one of the remedies to corruption’s corrosive effect on the foundations of a stable, prosperous, and well-governed democratic society. The U.S. government is committed to expanding open access to information and data.
- The United States is a founding member of the Open Government Partnership. Making government information more open and accessible for everyone can increase innovation, advance scientific research, improve public service delivery, and facilitate greater public oversight of government operations.
- The United States is the largest donor to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. The Mechanism helps ensure countries in the region – including the United States – are following through with their international obligations to prevent and combat corruption.
- The United States provides training, technical assistance, and grants to governments and stakeholders throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to support efforts to end corruption and to defend democracy, good governance, fiscal transparency, human rights, and rule of law.
- The United States supports ongoing efforts in Latin America to increase the capacity of investigative journalists to uncover corruption and illicit finance, which facilitate transnational organized crime.
- The United States works closely with the six Latin American signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention to create and enforce legislation that criminalizes the act of bribing foreign government officials.
- The CARES Act authorized the United States to extend and increase U.S. participation in the International Monetary Fund’s New Arrangements to Borrow from about $39 billion to $78 billion through end-December 2025. The United States has leveraged its leadership at the IMF to promote good governance through IMF-supported programs, including the more than $4 billion in IMF emergency financial assistance to address COVID-19 in the Western Hemisphere.
Advancing Security and Prosperity for Everyone Through Inclusion
Inclusion is essential to fighting corruption and defending democracy in the Americas. The U.S. government works to improve the ability, opportunity, participation, and dignity of historically marginalized communities, such as women and girls, people of African descent, indigenous peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, to successfully confront barriers preventing them from fully participating in political, economic, and social life.
- The United States has pioneered bilateral agreements and initiatives with Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and Canada on racial, ethnic, and gender equality that leverage support from governments, civil society, and the private sector, and works to raise the visibility of and promote access to opportunities for historically marginalized groups throughout the Americas.
- The United States works to advance the equality and empowerment of women and girls, providing women the knowledge, networks, and access to build their capacity as entrepreneurs through the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) and the work of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which is designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential.
- The United States also advocates for the promotion and protection of the human rights of LGBTI persons in the Americas through the Organization of American States (OAS) LGBTI Core Group.
Promoting Good Regulatory and Procurement Practices
The United States is committed to quality infrastructure procurement processes in line with international best practices on transparency, labor and environmental standards, and project life cycle analysis. The U.S. government collaborates with a variety of organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, to promote best practices and provide technical advice.
- The United States launched the América Crece– Growth in the Americas initiative in 2019 to foster sustainable economic growth by catalyzing private sector investment in energy and other infrastructure projects across Latin America and the Caribbean based on market principles, transparency, good procurement practices, and strong regulatory frameworks.
- Under the Global Procurement Initiative, the United States helps public procurement decision-makers in emerging economies obtain the greatest value in utilizing public money. Implementation of best practices leads to more structured investments with overall savings to the government, while leveling the playing field in international tenders for firms that operate on market principles and respect the rule of law.
- The United States supports the Inter-American Government Procurement Network, which convenes the highest-level government procurement officials to facilitate technical cooperation, training, and the inclusion of feedback from public stakeholders.
Valuing Civil Society and Other Stakeholders
The United States is steadfast in its advocacy for stakeholder participation in the Summit of the Americas process. Civil society and private sector leaders are essential voices for informing the decisions governments make to advance democracy and strengthen the economy.
- The United States has supported the participation of independent civil society representatives from every country in the region in the Summit of the Americas, and actively supports the Citizen Corruption Observatory, which builds the capacity of civil society to monitor governments’ implementation of the Lima Commitment and other anti-corruption efforts.
- The United States enthusiastically supports the incorporation of regular consultations with the private sector as an integral part of the Summit process through the Americas Business Dialogue, and at the CEO Summit of the Americas to convene business leaders to work with governments on improving economic growth and fighting corruption.
Combatting Illicit Finance
The United States is committed to combatting money laundering and illicit financial flows derived from corruption. To address the risk of these activities in the U.S. financial system, the U.S. government has developed a robust anti-money laundering framework built upon sound laws and regulations, effective implementation, and balanced enforcement.
- The United States conducts strategic dialogues, and convenes public-private banking working groups with countries whose financial systems are particularly entwined with the United States. The United States provides technical assistance, training, and capacity building globally on anti-money laundering and anticorruption. These efforts promote good practices, compliance with relevant standards, and cooperation.
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is central to the U.S. anti-money laundering and anti-corruption strategy. We recognize the FATF as the global standard-setting body for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. The FATF global network is comprised of more than 200 countries and jurisdictions, covering nearly the entire globe. The work of the FATF to prevent illicit financial flows in the global financial system is essential to depriving criminals of the financial benefits from narcotics trafficking and transnational organized crime, and other forms of illicit finance. Under the U.S. presidency, the FATF agreed on binding measures for how all jurisdictions must regulate and supervise virtual asset financial activities and virtual asset service providers. The United States continues to support FATF efforts to ensure that jurisdictions around the world implement these measures in practice and are effectively regulating, supervising, and taking enforcement actions necessary to prevent illicit financial flows in the global financial system.