The United States advocates “transparency” for governments when implementing vaccination against Covid-19, and considers “Bad” actions for the benefit of a few to the detriment of the entire population, senior officials said Tuesday after the scandals in Argentina, Brazil and Peru.
Joe Biden’s administration officials were emphatic on the need to effectively prevent and detect “irregularities” related to public care during a health emergency, and on the “importance” of a management that gives confidence to citizens.
During a telephone press conference on the fight against corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean, State Department officials were consulted about the recent controversies unleashed in Argentina, Brazil and Peru over the distribution of anticovid vaccines, in which politicians and distinguished personalities received preferential treatment.
These actions “are bad, because they represent a threat against the populations”, said Heide Fulton, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Office of International Narcotics Affairs and Law Enforcement (INL).
Fulton said that the INL focuses its work on “strengthening” the structures of the State to prevent these acts.
“Through the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Division, we are strengthening the professional capacities of law enforcement officers and public prosecutors to detect, investigate and prosecute corruption related to the Covid-19 pandemic and future crises “, he indicated.
Mexico, Chile and Colombia are the Latin American countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
He also said that another program with the United Nations seeks to support Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay to “establish national anti-corruption procurement platforms”. The idea is to create networks focused on “strengthening the transparency of public procurement and the protection of whistleblowers,” he said.
Jon Piechowski, Deputy Under Secretary of State for the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, underscored the key role of clarity in public management where there are queues and waiting for the vaccine.
“In these cases we see the importance of transparency in every process that has to do with a government,” he said.
“Many people want to receive the vaccine and if there is an open process, where people see and understand who receives it or for what reasons, I think it contributes to better management”, He added.
On Tuesday, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, announced a new International Award for Anti-Corruption Activists, to recognize “The brave people who drive anti-corruption efforts.”
Among the 12 winners, there are two Latin Americans: the Attorney General of Ecuador, Diana Salazar, and the head of the Special Prosecutor against Impunity of Guatemala, Juan Francisco Sandoval Alfaro.