Representative Adriano Espaillat Addresses Impact of Corruption on Local Communities Throughout Latin America

March 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DCRepresentative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) addressed the impact of corruption on local communities throughout Latin America during today’s hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade entitled: Understanding Odebrecht: Lessons for Combating Corruption in the Americas.

 

“Tackling corruption and promoting good governance are top priorities for me this Congress,” said Rep. Espaillat.  “I plan to build upon this hearing and my line of questioning to further U.S. cooperation with our allies in the Caribbean in this regard.”

 

Watch video during today’s hearing.

 

Below are remarks and questions presented by Rep. Espaillat as prepared for delivery:

 

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member.

 

“Brazil, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Angola, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Mozambique, and several other countries have allegedly been involved in this major scandal.

 

“My first question is, and Mr. Hall this is to you: are there any current prosecutions, open prosecutions, in the U.S. federal system of cases directly related to the Odebrecht case?

 

“Here in the U.S. circuit, in federal courts, there are open investigations?

 

“My second question is: we have seen what has happened with CICIG and MACCIH, Ms. Salazar, there seems to be a resistance in Latin America because of the history of Latin America of outside groups coming in and telling locals what to do. I happen to think that in some of those countries there are many good people in the civil society that want to battle and combat corruption – nonpartisan people, people of good will, good government folks that really want to combat corruption. Do you have a model that functions sort of outside CICIG massive structure that involves local people that could be impartial and can really have ownership and skin in the game to combat corruption like the Odebrecht corruption in these countries?

 

“But what about locally? Because, I think that people see international entities or folk from outside the country as interventionists in some way, but I feel in those countries there are good people who want to battle corruption, is there a model that brings in good folks?

 

“Usually those local prosecutor offices are appointed by the local government and they may themselves be involved in corruption. What about having an entity, an impartial, non-patrician entity in a country – is there anything that works out?

 

“My last question for Mr. Hall. You mentioned that there was a bribery department, right? Is there a structure for this? Where was this department and who headed it?

 

Where was it based?

 

And who headed it?

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

 

Click here to view today’s hearing in its entirety and to hear responses to Rep. Espaillat’s line of questioning.

 

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.  He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx.  To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

 

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at Candace.Person@mail.house.gov