Research by International Crisis Group has for the first time quantified the positive impact of the UN’s Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). This report shows how CICIG’s justice reform activities since 2007 helped contribute to a 5 per cent average annual decrease in murder rates in the country. This compares with a 1 per cent average annual rise among regional peers.
Why does it matter?
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has announced that he will end CICIG’s mandate in 2019. But the commission has won widespread public support in Guatemala for its prosecution of previously untouchable elites. It is a rare example of a successful international effort to strengthen a country’s judicial system and policing.
What should be done?
With U.S. support for the CICIG under seeming strain, the commission’s other supporters should propose a new deal between the Guatemalan government and the UN based on a revised strategy of case selection and continuing support for political and judicial reforms. The U.S. should wholeheartedly back such a reformulated CICIG.
To read the report Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity, please follow the link.