"In Guatemala, the fight against corruption leaves a base of justice and conscience that no mafia can destroy"

Very invested in the fight against corruption, Thelma Aldana, who headed the Guatemalan Office of Public Prosecutions from 2014 to 2018, takes stock, in a tribune to the "World", the International Commission against impunity in Guatemala, whose mandate ended on 3 September.

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"The Cicig has, since its inception, revealed many cases that have exposed the extent of corruption and impunity in Guatemala" (Photo: demonstration for the Cigid and the resignation of President Perez, in Guatemala, in 2015). JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP

(Former President of the Guatemalan Supreme Court, Thelma Aldana headed the Prosecutor General's Office between 2014 and 2018. Together with the International Commission to Combat Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), she uncovered numerous cases of corruption. of the Cicig ended on 3 September, the incumbent president, Jimmy Morales, having refused to renew it.Struck from the presidential race for fallacious reasons, Mme Aldana had to leave his country in March after death threats. )

Tribune. It was during the civil war (1960-1996) that were born, grew up and consolidated the clandestine security apparatuses that were encrusted in the Guatemalan state. In this context, and because of an unfair system, marked by impunity and corruption, which hampered the development of the country, the government of the Republic, on the initiative of civil society, requested in 2006 the United Nations to establish an international body to help Guatemala dismantle these clandestine forces and to fight against impunity. Thus was born the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

The treaty between the United Nations and the Guatemalan State found that these paramilitary forces were guilty of crimes and serious violations of human rights and enjoyed such power that they were able to guarantee impunity to those responsible. – the absence, in fact or in law, of criminal, civil or other liability. As this text noted, such a situation undermined the rule of law and made it impossible for the public authorities to protect the life and physical integrity of their citizens and to ensure their access to justice.

Large organized crime system

The creation of Cicig itself was accompanied by a consolidation of justice and judicial proceedings in Guatemala. Legislation has been amended and expanded, including the adoption of the Organized Crime Act, which introduced special criminal investigation methods such as telephone tapping and the principle of "Effective collaboration" (some of the accused are given lighter sentences in exchange for their testimony), and the law on high-risk trials, which has allowed the creation of courts and magistrates specializing in the handling of the most sensitive cases.


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