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[William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs]: Congressman, here is my thirty second assessment. There are two driving factors that are creating a vast amount of corruption in Honduras, and quite frankly throughout the Northern Triangle. First are the organized—the transnational criminal organizations, largely drug trafficking. They are professional criminals, and their objectives are economic in nature. The second are the criminal gangs. And in fact, the gangs that you see in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are the same gangs that, many of the same gangs that you see up here in the United States of America. There is no question whatsoever that those two criminal institutions are penetrating and corrupting all three of the governments of the Northern Triangle. I am not going to parse words in terms of how many dollars are represented in terms of that corruption. I acknowledge that in all three of the governments it is substantial at many different levels. What they are doing now to address them in both Guatemala and more recently in Honduras is establishing an organization, CICIG or MACCIH, to both investigate and bring cases against those in government who have been corrupted. They are also developing law enforcement organizations to both investigate and prosecute those crimes. There are TAG or anti-gang units in all three of the countries, and there are in fact law enforcement units that are vectored on corruption.
Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Oversight Hearing - United States Engagement in Central America (Washington: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, February 11, 2016) <>.