Guatemala Requests Extension of UN Anti-Impunity Commission

EspañolOn Thursday, April 23, the President of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina called on the United Nations to extend the mandate of its International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The decision comes after a committee tasked with evaluating CICIG’s work in Guatemala suggested it should continue for two more years.

“I have decided to ask the United Nations to extend @CICIGgt’s mandate in Guatemala.”

Josué Baquiax, head of Guatemala’s Judiciary, presided over the committee that assessed CICIG’s performance, along with representatives from the Prosecutor’s Office, Interior Ministry, and the Institute of Public Defenders.

The decision to recommend an extension of CICIG’s mandate was unanimous.

“We have to acknowledge the role they play in the investigation [of crimes in Guatemala], and they will help [governmental] bodies improve their investigative tasks,” Baquiax stated, noting President Pérez Molina has the final say on the matter.

The committee issued a report documenting the cases in which the CICIG has intervened, including the controversial tax-fraud scheme revealed last week implicating the nation’s vice president, Roxana Baldetti.

Baquiax recommended in the report that the CICIG continue to collaborate directly with Guatemala’s Prosecutor’s Office to investigate criminal groups in the country.

Pérez Molina himself tasked the committee to evaluate CICIG’s performance last January so he could decide whether or not to ask the United Nations to extended the agency’s mandate for a fourth time.

The president had previously expressed reservations about an extension, but support for the CICIG increased following their latest investigation to reveal corruption in Guatemala.

On Tuesday, Guatemalan civil-society groups and the Catholic Church joined forces to demand the international agency headed by commissioner Iván Velásquez continue its work in the country.

Source: El Faro.

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