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Conditions on FY 2016 U.S. Assistance to the Northern Triangle of Central America

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The conditions below have been excerpted from the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016.

Conditions on Migration Enforcement:

Of the funds made available pursuant to paragraph (1) that are available for assistance for each of the central governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the following amounts shall be withheld from obligation and may only be made available as follows:

(A) 25 percent may only be obligated after the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that such government is taking effective steps to—

(i) inform its citizens of the dangers of the journey to the southwest border of the United States;
(ii) combat human smuggling and trafficking;
(iii) improve border security; and
(iv) cooperate with United States Government agencies and other governments in the region to facilitate the return, repatriation, and reintegration of illegal migrants arriving at the southwest border of the United States who do not qualify as refugees, consistent with international law.

Conditions on Human Rights, Anti-Corruption Efforts:

(B) An additional 50 percent may only be obligated after the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that such government is taking effective steps to—

(i) establish an autonomous, publicly accountable entity to provide oversight of the Plan;
(ii) combat corruption, including investigating and prosecuting government officials credibly alleged to be corrupt;
(iii) implement reforms, policies, and programs to improve transparency and strengthen public institutions, including increasing the capacity and independence of the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General;
(iv) establish and implement a policy that local communities, civil society organizations (including indigenous and other marginalized groups), and local governments are consulted in the design, and participate in the implementation and evaluation of, activities of the Plan that affect such communities, organizations, and governments;
(v) counter the activities of criminal gangs, drug traffickers, and organized crime;
(vi) investigate and prosecute in the civilian justice system members of military and police forces who are credibly alleged to have violated human rights, and ensure that the military and police are cooperating in such cases;
(vii) cooperate with commissions against impunity, as appropriate, and with regional human rights entities;
(viii) support programs to reduce poverty, create jobs, and promote equitable economic growth in areas contributing to large numbers of migrants;
(ix) establish and implement a plan to create a professional, accountable civilian police force and curtail the role of the military in internal policing;
(x) protect the right of political opposition parties, journalists, trade unionists,human rights defenders, and other civil society activists to operate without interference;
(xi) increase government revenues, including by implementing tax reforms and strengthening customs agencies; and
(xii) resolve commercial disputes, including the confiscation of real property, between United States entities and such government.

(4) SUSPENSION OF ASSISTANCE AND PERIODIC REVIEW.—

(A) The Secretary of State shall periodically review the progress of each of the central governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in meeting the requirements of paragraphs (3)(A) and (3)(B) and shall, not later than September 30, 2016, submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing such progress: Provided, That if the Secretary determines that sufficient progress has not been made by a central government, the Secretary shall suspend, in whole or in part, assistance for such government for programs supporting such requirement, and shall notify such committees in writing of such action: Provided further, That the Secretary may resume funding for such programs only after the Secretary certifies to such committees that corrective measures have been taken.

(B) The Secretary of State shall, following a change of national government in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, determine and report to the appropriate congressional committees that any new government has committed to take the steps to meet the requirements of paragraphs (3)(A) and (3)(B): Provided, That if the Secretary is unable to make such a determination in a timely manner, assistance made available under this subsection for such central government shall be suspended, in whole or in part, until such time as such determination and report can be made.