CICIG head Francisco Dall'Anese

The Guatemalan government has opened investigations into 13 of the 18 judges accused of corruption by UN-backed judicial body CICIG, marking a step forward in tackling deeply ingrained corruption.

On February 7, Guatemala's Public Ministry decided to begin pre-trial investigations into the 13 judges, who the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) accused of "creating spaces of impunity."

The CICIG, a United Nations-backed body in charge of providing investigative assistance to Guatemalan government institutions, released the report which triggered the investigations, "The Judges of Impunity," in November 2012. The organization accused the judges of protecting members of criminal groups and corrupt officials from prosecution, and aiding them by ruling in their favor.

This week, various judges from the judicial branch and three judges from the Second Court of Appeals announced that they would not participate in cases in which the CICIG was involved, citing "serious enmity" between the two bodies, reported Prensa Libre. Three of the appeals court judges are among those who were accused in the November report.  

InSight Crime Analysis

The decision to investigate most of the judges identified by CICIG is an important milestone in tackling impunity in Guatemala, and a validation of the CICIG's work. The group's mandate is being renewed for another two years from January, and, alongside the progress made by Claudia Paz y Paz in the Attorney General's Office, Guatemala appears to be making progress in addressing corruption.

However, the problem runs deep in Guatemala, and prosecutors will have to overcome serious challenges if the investigations are to lead to prosecutions, not least the question of whether other judges will be willing to prosecute their colleagues.

The CICIG has run into this problem before, helping bring ex-President Alfonso Portillo to trial on money laundering and embezzlement charges, only to see him acquitted by one of the judges now on their "Judges of Impunity" list. 

Ultimately, as CICIG Director Francisco Dall'Anese told InSight Crime last year, if lasting progress is to be made, Guatemala cannot rely on external bodies such as the CICIG.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

The power of Colombia's elites is founded upon one of the most unequal divisions of land in the world. As of the early 21st century, one percent of landowners own more than half the country's agricultural land.1  Under Spanish rule, Colombia's agriculture was organized on the hacienda...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Honduras is currently one of the most violent countries on the planet that is not at war. The violence is carried out by transnational criminal organizations, local drug trafficking groups, gangs and corrupt security forces, among other actors. Violence is the focal point for the international aid...

Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Organized crime and the violence associated with it is the preeminent problem in Latin America and the Caribbean today. The region is currently home to six of the most violent countries in the world that are not at war. Four of those countries are in Central America...

Special Report: Gangs in Honduras

Special Report: Gangs in Honduras

In a new report based on extensive field research, InSight Crime and the Asociacion para una Sociedad mas Justa have traced how Honduras' two largest gangs, the MS13 and the Barrio 18, are evolving, and how their current modus operandi has resulted in staggering levels of violence...

Bolivia: the New Hub for Drug Trafficking in South America

Bolivia: the New Hub for Drug Trafficking in South America

Transnational organized crime likes opportunities and little resistance. Bolivia currently provides both and finds itself at the heart of a new criminal dynamic that threatens national and citizen security in this landlocked Andean nation.

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The Urabeños - The Criminal Hybrid

The Urabeños - The Criminal Hybrid

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

Mexico's Security Dilemma: The Battle for Michoacan

Mexico's Security Dilemma: The Battle for Michoacan

Faced with the government's failure to rein in the criminals, communities across crime-besieged Mexico have been trying for years to organize effective civic resistance. Michoacan's vigilantes express the most extreme response by society to date, but other efforts have been less belligerent. In battle-torn cities along the...

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill Faces Political, Economic Obstacles

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill Faces Political, Economic Obstacles

If Uruguay's proposal to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana is properly implemented and overcomes political and economic hurdles, it could be the most important drug regulation experiment in decades.