Guatemalan president agrees to keep UN anti-impunity commission
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said Thursday that he would extend for two more years the U.N.’s anti-impunity commission in the country. The announcement comes as a major tax fraud scandal unfolds involving high-level officials. The U.N. commission has provided key support to prosecutors in the case.
On Wednesday leaders of Guatemala’s judiciary and public security apparatus had urged Pérez to extend the mission of the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), whose mandate was set to expire in September.
CICIG was created in 2006 to bolster Guatemala’s weak judicial institutions by helping investigate high-profile crimes and illegal groups thought to have infiltrated Guatemalan institutions.
The U.N. commission has taken on some of the country’s toughest cases and most bulletproof figures, including a high-level group of Guatemalan officials accused of ordering the killings of 10 inmates in Guatemala’s Pavón and El Infiernito prisons in 2005 and 2006.
Most recently, CICIG helped initiate charges against 22 officials — including the private secretary of Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti — accused of being part of a tax fraud and contraband ring. The secretary, Juan Carlos Monzón, is thought to be hiding out in Honduras. Vice President Baldetti says she doesn’t know where he is.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Guatemala during a visit to the country in March that keeping CICIG could be a condition for U.S. support of a new development plan for the so-called Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Nevertheless, up until now Pérez has repeatedly expressed doubts about allowing CICIG to continue working in the country, saying it had completed its mission but hadn’t achieved important accomplishments.
On Thursday, the president said he had taken into consideration various recommendations in deciding to extend the commission’s mandate.
You may be interested
Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%The Tico Times - March 4, 2021
Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 19.1% in the moving quarter from November to January. This maintained a downward trend…
Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flowsThe Tico Times - March 4, 2021
Arenal Volcano's July 1968 eruption destroyed three small villages, killed 87 people and wiped out 232 square kilometers of crops…
MOPT warns of higher traffic accidents as measures are easedAlejandro Zúñiga - March 4, 2021
The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) is reminding drivers to follow the rules of the road when traveling this…