The Anti-Impunity Fund (AIF) is a thought-leader, advocate, convener, and funder of the fight against impunity in Central America.
We share our expertise by providing strategic analysis to and accompaniment of organized civil society and youth social movements in their work. We convene meetings of experts in the fight against impunity; and we engage in advocacy—both in Central America and in the United States.
The Anti-Impunity Fund is SIF’s newest initiative. Since its inception in 2020, the AIF has supported Salvadoran human rights organizations in creating a coalition and presenting their proposals for the fight against impunity. We have organized regular convenings of former prosecutors share their experience in the fight against impunity and corruption. Likewise, we have supported gatherings of civil society leaders and youth activists from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to share common strategies and plan joint actions in the fight against impunity.
Why Fight Impunity?
Impunity is the failure to hold individuals, groups, or state actors accountable for misdeeds. It is the ultimate expression of inequality. Where impunity reigns, the economically and politically powerful can undermine public institutions, distort justice, and violate human rights to further their own objectives. It undermines the foundations of democracy and perpetuates violence, a lack of opportunities, and oppression.
Impunity is a persistent problem and one of the main threats to democracy in Central America. In recent years, the region has made important strides in the fight against impunity through the continuous efforts of civil society organizations and social movements, as well as the creation of international commissions against impunity. However, these important accomplishments are at risk of being reversed as those favoring impunity reassert their power.
While the road ahead is long, a continuous commitment to the fight against impunity will pave the way for a more democratic and prosperous Central America.
AIF Impact Model
Seattle International Foundation (SIF) is a trusted convener and regional leader that catalyzes change in Central America through its strategic impact model that amplifies the efforts of civil society, leverages investment, and drives collaboration.
AIF is funded by donors who believe that the fight against impunity is essential to strengthening the rule of law and democracy in Central America.
May 18, 2022
Selection of Judges and Prosecutors in Central America
Justice officials assume a fundamental role in protecting the rule of law and, consequently, democratic governance and social well-being in northern Central America. The selection process of the highest judicial and prosecutorial authorities is essential for public institutions.
Only through a transparent review of a candidate’s merits can the most suitable option be selected. In practice, however, powerful groups seeking to maintain high levels of impunity, and even intending to criminalize human rights defenders and anti-corruption critics, have co-opted the selection process.
In this webinar, panelists will address recent developments of judicial selection processes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and determine what lessons we can draw from these experiences in order to improve processes in the future.
Join SIF and American University’s Center for Latin American & Latino Studies for this discussion on improving the selection processes for judges and prosecutors in northern Central America in an effort to combat corruption and impunity.
Simultaneous interpretation will not be available for this event.
From Despair to Hope: How a Better Future is Possible in Central America
Northern Central America is a beautiful and complex region mired by corruption, poverty, and violence. Seattle International Foundation’s Adriana Beltrán and Eric Olson discuss how, in this moment when trustworthy government allies are limited, investment and support for organized civil society offers a way forward.
Organizations Applaud Recent U.S. Treasury Sanction Targeting Russian Corruption in the Guatemalan Mining Sector
This is a significant step towards combating corruption and promoting accountability in Guatemala.
The Government of Guatemala must uphold constitutional guarantees and respect freedom of the press
The freedom of the press and the independence of justice operators are pillars of democracy, and they are fundamental rights that the State of Guatemala is required to respect.
As Guatemala’s government chooses corruption, U.S. should respond more forcefully
Between 2019 and May 2022, at least 22 prosecutors, judges, and human rights defenders have been forced into exile—many of them in the United States. Guatemalan authorities have also detained at least seven anti-corruption prosecutors. Virginia Laparra is one of them. By Mirte Postema
Experience and Lessons from CICIG (working paper)
This article reflects upon the most important contributions of CICIG in Guatemala following the webinar, “The original experiment: Lessons from CICIG and challenges for the region”, which was organized by the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) of Florida International University and Seattle International Foundation (SIF) on May 13, 2020. (Document available only in Spanish.)
“La corrupción en Honduras va más allá de Juan Orlando Hernández”
"La corrupción en Honduras va más allá de Juan Orlando Hernández". Entrevista de Expediente Público, en Honduras, a Eric L. Olson, director de políticas e iniciativas estratégicas de la Fundación Internacional de Seattle y secretario ejecutivo del Centro contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en el norte de Centroamérica (CCINOC).
Letter from Guatemala: It’s Not a Border Crisis. It’s a Climate Crisis
By SABRINA RODRIGUEZ. “We need to get away from the notion that it’s just a matter of making an announcement with some kind of aid plan that would remedy all these problems,” says Eric Olson, director of policy at the Seattle International Foundation and an expert on Central America.
A Damning Portrait of Presidential Corruption, but Hondurans Sound Resigned
President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras figured prominently in a U.S. drug trial, but few think it will matter in a country mired in corruption. "We need to give the people of Central America a sense of hope. And that starts with fighting corruption and ending this ridiculous theft of Hondurans’ future,” says Eric L. Olson, director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at the Seattle International Foundation.
The crisis is in Central America not the border
The situation at the U.S.– Mexico border is urgent, but the crisis is in Central America. The solution to this problem cannot be a return to Trump-era policies of inhumane treatment as a policy of dissuasion. Family separation and forcing migrants to remain in makeshift shelters across the border is morally wrong and bad policy.
Hopelessness & Corruption
This paper analyzes the drivers of migration hypothesizing that persistent government failure driven in large part by corruption produces a sense of hopelessness among Central Americans that contributes to and propels their decision to migrate. The authors, Joy Olson and Eric L. Olson, conclude that addressing weak governance and corruption helps create a national context in which individuals can see a future in their own country.
Biden’s immigration policy needs anti-corruption focus in Central America
James D. Nealon, Eric L. Olson and Kurt Alan Ver Beek write about how Biden needs to follow through on a proposed Central American regional anti-corruption commission. Otherwise, U.S. aid will not stop thousands of desperate people from fleeing countries that give them little hope to survive, much less flourish.
Hope for DREAMers
The Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision on June 18, 2020 and officially halted the Trump administration’s attempts to end DACA. But its narrow decision also means the government can still terminate DACA if it follows the proper procedures. Only a new immigration law would provide a permanent solution.
The Anti-Impunity Fund’s Team
The Anti-Impunity Fund applies its team’s unique expertise in the fight against impunity in Central America to create a strategic approach in coordination with our grantee partners. That means we are not “just” a funder; we are an informed and active sparring partner.