Head of CICIG Steps Down

Author: Ryan Lincoln

After calling a press conference on June 7, 2010, Commissioner Carlos Castresana announced he was resigning his post. Castresana had served as commissioner since CICIG’s inception two and a half years ago. Although CICIG has been lauded internationally for its important successes in supporting Guatemala’s broken legal system and initiating many high-profile investigations and indictments, Castresana cited the lack of cooperation and reforms by the Guatemalan Congress as his primary motivation for leaving his post before returning to his native Spain.

“Nothing that was promised is being done,” he said during his press conference, “On a personal level, I feel I cannot do anything more for Guatemala.”

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Former President Portillo Arrested and Indicted

Author: Ryan Lincoln

The last week of January marked a significant achievement for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), Guatemala and the rule of law. On 26 January 2010, the Guatemalan national police and military arrested former president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo, on charges of embezzlement and money laundering.[1]

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Crime and Impunity in Guatemala

Author: Ryan Lincoln

“Gang violence, drug trafficking, brutal killings of women, and attacks against human rights defenders and others who speak out against corruption and impunity have increased exponentially and threaten the very foundations of Guatemala’s fragile democracy.” – Senator Patrick Leahy, Floor of US Senate, 26 July 2008

Problem

Guatemala is still struggling to recover from a protracted civil war that devastated the country from 1962 to 1996. Unfortunately, organized crime, human rights violations, and drug trafficking continue to terrorize the population and remain virtually unchecked in a climate of impunity.

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