Guatemala: New Investigative Tool

By Dialogo
October 01, 2012

The Government of Guatemala approved the formation of the General Criminal
Investigations Bureau (DIGICRI, for its acronym in Spanish) in July 2012 to
strengthen judicial investigations and close more cases.
The civil unit will operate under the Ministry of Governance and take 10
years to fully institutionalize. After the law was passed, President of Congress
Gudy Rivera, who originally proposed the law in 1997, said the unit will be one more
tool to stop criminality in the country. Javier Monterroso, advisor to the attorney
general, added that “it is necessary to count on a criminal investigative body to
make penal prosecutions more efficient.”
Guatemala faces well-organized criminal gangs and the infiltration of Mexican
drug cartels that have led to a spike in violence and impunity in recent years. In
2010, only 5 percent of homicide cases were solved in the country, according to
official statistics.
The Public Ministry’s prosecutors will have oversight of DIGICRI personnel
from the beginning of investigations until sentencing.