International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Spanish: Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala, CICIG) is an international body charged with investigating and prosecuting serious crime in Guatemala. It was created on December 12, 2006, when the United Nations and Guatemala, under the government of Óscar Berger, signed a treaty-level agreement setting up CICIG as an independent body to support the Public Prosecutor's Office (Procuraduría General de la Nación), the National Civilian Police (Policía Nacional Civil) and other state institutions in the investigation of a limited number of sensitive and difficult cases. The ultimate goal is that through CICIG's work, national judicial sector institutions will be strengthened to continue to confront illegal groups and organized crime in the future.
CICIG's mandate consists of three principal objectives:
- First, CICIG shall investigate the existence of illicit security forces and clandestine organizations that commit crimes that affect the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Guatemala, and identify the illegal group structures (including links between state officials and organized crime), activities, modes of operation and sources of financing.
- Second, CICIG's professional personnel shall support the work of Guatemalan institutions, principally the Attorney General in his/her work to investigate and prosecute the individuals involved in the illegal groups. Additionally, CICIG will make recommendations to the Government for the adoption of new public policies and procedures directed at the eradication of these groups and will strengthen the state's capacity to protect the basic human rights of its citizens.
- Third, CICIG shall provide technical assistance to legal institutions in order to leave the Public Prosecutor's Office and National Civilian Police better equipped to fight organized crime after the conclusion of CICIG's mandate.
CICIG has the legal ability to support the Public Prosecutor's Office in criminal prosecutions, and participate as a complementary prosecutor (querellante adhesivo), in conformity with Guatemala's Code of Criminal Procedure. CICIG also has legal standing to make administrative complaints against public officials, in particular when officials have committed acts with the purpose to obstructing its mandate, and can act as an interested third party in disciplinary procedures initiated against such officials.
On March 24, 2009, Guatemala's Minister of Foreign Relations, Haroldo Rodas, requested, through a personal letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the extension of CICIG's mandate for an additional two years. The extension was confirmed on April 15, 2009 when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a personal response to the Minister of Foreign Relations, expressing the UN's desire to have CICIG continue its work supporting national institutions for another two years. In January, Guatemala's president Otto Pérez Molina announced that he would extend CICIG's mandate until the end of his term.
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