Guatemala Proposes International Commission Against Mafias In Central America

By Dialogo
May 05, 2010

Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras want to create a common body to work against insecurity and impunity, according to an initiative presented Monday by Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom during his meeting with the chief U.S. diplomat for Latin America. “We talked about a common effort among Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to create a body, a kind of Cicig, in order to be able to make progress on the issue of justice and regional security,” Colom specified at a press conference with the U.S. official, Arturo Valenzuela. The idea is to implement a body similar to the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), backed by the United Nations, Colom explained. He specified that the he is working out the details of the initiative together with his counterparts in El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, and Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, with support from Spanish jurist Carlos Castresana, the head of the Cicig. The Cicig, the only commission of its kind, has been operating in Guatemala since September 2007, and its mission is to dismantle clandestine groups entrenched within the state apparatus, as well as to reduce the high rate of impunity, which is the result in more than 98% of cases. At the same time, Valenzuela expressed his country’s interest in contributing to the initiative, although neither its functioning nor the timeframe, costs, or financing mechanisms were specified. “The Cicig has been a very valuable experience in Guatemala; it’s had a very favorable impact,” according to the chief U.S. diplomat for the Americas. “The issue of citizen security is extremely important; it concerns us. In the United States we know that we have a great deal of responsibility for the issue of drug trafficking, and in this regard, we see the importance of better planning of our efforts to combat the plagues that affect our populations,” he specified. Guatemala, like the other Central American countries, is a transit point and marketplace for South American drug cartels transporting narcotics to the U.S. market.