Corruption and Human Rights in the Northern Triangle


Event Summary This event has passed.

In 2015, Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman helped to expose a corruption scheme in the Guatemalan health service that left at least five people dead of kidney failure. Investigations by Guatemalan prosecutors and the UN’s CICIG subsequently revealed that health officials had changed their supplier of kidney dialysis treatment in return for millions of dollars in kickbacks. The new supplier provided poor treatment, and patients died while health officials lined their pockets. The investigation was a graphic reminder that corruption, far from being a victimless crime, often severely infringes on human rights. In the words of former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, “corruption kills”.
The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras received failing scores on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index. In different ways, they also face significant human rights challenges, from police violence to violations of indigenous rights to lack of access to health care. To what extent are these human rights challenges rooted in corruption? Can the fight against impunity reap dividends against both corruption and human rights abuses? Are national institutions making progress in these areas, and what is the role of international bodies such as CICIG in Guatemala and MACCIH in Honduras?
To analyze these questions, the Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to partner with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) to convene an expert discussion on “Corruption and Human Rights in the Northern Triangle.”

Follow this event on Twitter at #NorthernTriangleCorruption, @The_Dialogue, @WOLA_org, @DPLF_info

Opening Remarks

Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)


Jordán Rodas Andrade

Human Rights Ombudsman (Procurador de Derechos Humanos), Guatemala (@JordanRodas)

Sarah Chayes

Senior Fellow, Democracy and Rule of Law Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@Sarah_Chayes)

Héctor Silva Ávalos

Investigator, Insight Crime and Codirector, Revista Factum (@HsilvAvalos)


Adriana Beltrán

Director for Citizen Security, WOLA (@Adriana_WOLA)

Úrsula Indacochea

Senior Program Officer, DPLF (@uindacochea)


Please note that this event will be held in English and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided. A light lunch will be provided.