chapter  6
18 Pages

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala

WithDavid Arellano-Gault

Chapter 6 is dedicated to the international innovation of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a hybrid structure (an international organization but with presence and impact at national level) that has had great success through solid investigative capabilities and a complex political abilities. Despite its success, paradoxically, the CICIG is about to be canceled by the government of Guatemala. This chapter points out that the CICIG is a very innovative Latin American experiment with great results capable of adapting its objectives: from fighting against mafias and paramilitary groups, to an effective organization capable of fighting against corruption. The case of the CICIG shows an organization with great technical capacities of investigation and criminal analysis that seeks, in turn, to strengthen the judicial institutions of the state to close the pincer of impunity. The CICIG is to be an international organization that, in principle, is solidly supported by the organizations of the Guatemalan state, which has allowed it to gain credibility in order to confront Guatemalan government institutions that are captured by corruption logics. However, its status as an international organization has made it a target of the Guatemalan political establishment. As the CICIG has been successful, it has become a problem for the status quo of the political system and the Guatemalan state itself has already begun a campaign to get the organization out of the country, arguing that the CICIG violates its sovereignty.