The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, CICIG: An Update and Prospects for the Future
Briefing Series on Accountability
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the achievements and future prospects for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, CICIG.
CICIG has been one of the most successful initiatives to promote and consolidate the rule of law in Guatemala. Established in 2007, the CICIG is an independent agency created by agreement between the Guatemalan state and the United Nations to investigate and prosecute corrupt criminal networks entrenched in the state. The Commission works through the Guatemalan justice system, hand-in-hand with local prosecutors. The CICIG is funded by voluntary contributions from the international community, and has enjoyed bipartisan U.S. support since its inception.
The CICIG's investigations have demonstrated that the Guatemalan justice system can hold accountable those once deemed untouchable. To date, the Commission has brought charges against a former president, two national police chiefs, an anti-narcotics czar, and a national prison director. The CICIG has been instrumental in improving local investigatory capacity and has also spearheaded much needed institutional reforms.
The CICIG's current mandate is due to expire in September of 2015 and its renewal is in question, even as Congress debates the proposed $1 billion Alliance for Prosperity initiative for the northern triangle of Central America. While the improvements that the Commission has helped bring about are impressive, much remains to be done to ensure their sustainability. Powerful organized criminal groups continue to wield power and undermine the country's institutions. There is broad consensus within Guatemala that profound reforms within the judicial sector continue to be necessary to protect the independence of judges and strengthen Guatemala's ability to investigate and prosecute complex criminal cases.
Our distinguished panel of witnesses will examine the importance of extending the CICIG's mandate for Guatemala, and its potential to serve as a model for bolstering the rule of law in the neighboring countries of El Salvador and Honduras.
For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton at 202-225-8097 (for Mr. McGovern) or Carson Middleton at 202-225-2411 (for Mr. Pitts) or the Commission staff at email@example.com.
Rep. James P. McGovern, TLHRC Co-Chair
Helen Mack, President, Myrna Mack Foundation of Guatemala
Edgar Balsells, Ex-Minister of Public Finance of Guatemala and Director of the Department of Economics, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, FLACSO-Guatemala
Luis Alfonso Carrillo Marroquin, Chairman, Carrillo & Associates
Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group