Anti-Impunity Fund

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.

 

AIF Activities

Events

May 21, 2021

Virtual Forum

Nicaragua's political landscape and prospects for democracy in 2021

On November 7, 2021, Nicaragua will hold national elections for president, congress, and local authorities. The elections will take place in a context of weakened democratic and electoral institutions, with an electoral system and rules that tilt heavily in favor of the incumbent, Daniel Ortega, and the Sandinista party. Since widespread anti-government protests erupted in April 2018, more than 300 citizens have been killed by government forces and paramilitary groups aligned with them. In addition, the Ortega government has adopted several repressive laws that severely restrict civic space and political rights in the country.

Thus far, the opposition has failed to unite behind a single candidate to oppose President Ortega, who has ruled continuously since 2007. Given the severe limitations on civic space, press freedom, and the exercise of political rights, what are the prospects for democracy in Nicaragua? Is it possible to create better conditions for electoral competition? Will the opposition abstain in the face of current obstacles? Will the opposition unify? Is there a constructive role for the international community to play?

Duration: 60 minutes
9:00am PDT
10:00am Central America
12:00pm EDT

This event will be held in a mix of Spanish and English, with simultaneous interpretation available and broadcast via Zoom and SIF's social media platforms.
To access the simultaneous interpretation, please click the "Register" button on this page.

Publications

A Damning Portrait of Presidential Corruption, but Hondurans Sound Resigned

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 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

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

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

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.

Eric L. Olson

Director of Policy in DC

Mirte Postema

Project Manager