In a speech delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 27th, Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) applauded the "courageous and positive steps" that the government of Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes is taking to confront the challenges facing El Salvador. McGovern urged the United States Government to "support the Funes Administration."
McGovern's remarks were delivered the day before President Funes was scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
McGovern also applauded the Funes Administration for its efforts to combat crime and violence, and singled out the work of Police Inspector General Zaira Navas. He noted that Navas seeks to ensure that "an honest hardworking police force is not sullied by corrupt cops … I believe Inspector Navas is taking courageous action, and I encourage the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to continue to support her in these efforts."
For the text of the speech in English, click here .
According to Geoff Thale, WOLA Program Director, the McGovern speech is significant. "Representative McGovern's speech recognizes the serious problems of crime and violence in El Salvador," said Thale. "He believes there are institutional problems – in the Attorney General's office, among corrupt elements that undermine a dedicated police force – that have to be fixed, and that President Funes is trying to fix them."
"Rep. McGovern has followed El Salvador, and U.S. policy toward El Salvador, for many years. His is a voice that the Obama Administration will listen to on El Salvador policy, " said Thale.