U.S. DOJ Launches Anticorruption Tip Line for Central America

On 15 October 2021, the United States’ Department of Justice ("DOJ") announced the launch of a tip line for its work in combatting corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The tip line is intended to assist the work of the DOJ's Anticorruption Task Force (the "Task Force") focused on the three Central American countries often referred to as the “Northern Triangle.” It calls for anyone with information on corruption-related crimes that violate U.S. laws or that send the proceeds of crime into or through the United States to report it directly to U.S. authorities. The Task Force will review the reported information for a jurisdictional link to the United States, including the use of the U.S. financial system, such that it can be investigated and prosecuted by U.S. authorities, with the goal of returning stolen assets to the people of the country from which it came. Reports can be made in English or Spanish and will go directly to the Task Force representatives at the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI").

The Task Force was launched in June of this year as part of the Biden Administration's ongoing efforts to address the root causes of migration at the U.S.'s southern border. It is composed of representatives from three key DOJ departments (the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit, the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section), as well as special agents from the FBI's International Corruption Unit, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity, who are tasked with investigating allegations in cooperation with U.S. embassy officials and the DOJ's Office of International Affairs.

The Task Force and the tip line illustrate U.S. enforcement agencies' increasingly assertive efforts to seek out and prosecute corrupt conduct outside the United States, as well as the view that such corruption is fueling the ongoing crises and desperate conditions in these countries that force their citizens to leave their homes and risk the dangerous journey to the United States.

The DOJ's press release on the tip line can be found here.