Washington, DC — The decision by the Guatemalan government not to renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) beyond September 2019 is a major setback in the fight against corruption and impunity in Guatemala.
“KIND supports CICIG and its mission to promote strong and independent institutions in Guatemala,” said Lisa Frydman, Vice President, Regional Policy and Initiatives. “The loss of the Commission and its mandate will render victims of violence and corruption, including victims of sexual and gender-based violence, even more vulnerable, and increase the already high levels of impunity for these crimes.”
CICIG was established on the request of the Guatemalan government in September 2007 to strengthen Guatemala’s judicial and security systems and to help domestic institutions investigate and dismantle illegal organizations. CICIG has advanced criminal justice reforms, including the creation of high security courts and witness protection programs.
KIND works with civil society partners in Guatemala to address sexual and gender-based violence and lack of access to protection for victims, a key cause of child migration from Guatemala. Violence and corruption, including sexual and gender-based violence, are extremely widespread in Guatemala, and weak rule of law and judicial institutions contribute to almost complete impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes.
“CICIG has played a key role in the progress that has been made over the past several years toward more effectively investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based violence and other forms of violence in Guatemala, and weakening the organized criminal groups responsible for many of these crimes,” Frydman said. “The failure of President Morales to renew CICIG’s mandate will send the message that these crimes are acceptable in Guatemala, and that victims have little hope of finding justice or protection.”
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-631-9990