'Money Not Really Going Towards the People': Aid Abuse Plaguing Guatemala, Reveals Top Gov't Official

John Romero | August 2, 2019
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In an exclusive interview between investigative reporter Sara A. Carter, Guatemala’s Secretary of Strategic Intelligence Mario Duarte was rather blunt about the reality of funding cuts of aid from the U.S. and how non-government organizations (NGO's) are operating in the country. 

Carter asked Duarte about President Trump's threat to cut funding to the country and if it would have the effect Democrats have claimed. What Duarte said went against what Democrats have predicted.

He first clarified that any of the proposed funding cuts wouldn't affect any security efforts that the U.S. was funding in the developing country. Instead, it would cut funding to the various NGO's and groups the U.S. funds to carry out development programs in Guatemala. Duarte says, though, that this isn't what the funds are being used for:

To be honest with you I don't think that most of that money is actually being properly used in our country… As [Carter] said the money is going to NGO's who spend it mostly on doing analysis and white paper studies. The money is not really going towards the people. 

When speaking to U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) representatives and looking at some NGO-led projects, Duarte said that they’re “almost pet projects for a political ideal.”  

When asked if the proposed cuts in funding would have any effect in worsening the migration crisis Duarte simply responds “none.”

Later in the interview, Carter talked with Duarte about what is keeping the country from developing. Duarte explained that, “a lot of judges in our judicial system have sided with several NGOs, unfortunately, leftist NGOs."

"They've gone against private property and the private process to acquire land," he said.

He also talked about how these NGO's are “...weaponizing these people in need and using them as their own private picketing mobs at the southern border in the United States for political purposes obviously.”

Duarte ended the interview by saying both the U.S. and Guatemalan executive branches need to come together and look into making sure aid to the country is actually being spent on improving conditions for the people.