Italian Mafia Prosecutor Awaiting Authorization to Move to Guatemala

By Dialogo
July 26, 2012

Italian mafia prosecutor Antonio Ingroia, responsible for significant investigations into the Sicilian mafia, is awaiting official authorization to move to Guatemala for the purpose of working with the United Nations on that Central American country’s International Commission against Impunity (CICIG).

Starting in September, 53-year-old Ingroia will work for a year as the individual in charge of the investigative unit of CICIG, a body that has been fighting mafias and their tentacles in that region since 2007.

The transfer of the magistrate, who has been the target of debate in Italy due to his investigations into the controversial negotiations between representatives of the state and the Sicilian La Cosa Nostra mafia, is expected to be approved during the assembly of the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM) on July 26.

Because the CSM commission is divided on the subject, the final decision will be submitted to the council’s general assembly.

“It’s truly an honor that foreign authorities ask our country’s best magistrates to combat organized crime,” Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino commented for her part, indirectly endorsing the transfer.

The judge, an emblem of the fight against La Cosa Nostra, agreed to leave Palermo, the capital of Sicily, at the end of a series of harsh debates following his investigations into the relationships between prominent political figures and mafia clans, as well as their economic ties.

“A responsibility like this one helps me to develop my capabilities and better coordinate investigations among different countries. The anti-mafia fight should be global,” he declared in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.

Igroia said that he has maintained contacts with Latin America for several months, and he acknowledged with bitterness that “we’re more appreciated abroad than at home, where anti-mafia judges are usually denigrated and have obstacles put in their way,” he said.

The magistrate, a “student” of the two heroes of the fight against the mafia, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, will work with the Guatemalan commission, which has been conducting investigations for five years and has dismantled significant criminal structures.

Created by the UN, CICIG has the objective of strengthening the Guatemalan judicial system, infiltrated by organized crime, and reduce impunity.

The commission has a staff of almost 200 employees from 25 countries, who work in coordination with the Attorney General’s Office. Its work has no precedents within the UN, and its mandate ends in 2013, but it can be extended another two years.

I want to inform that I am an admirer of the Italian anti-mafia judges and hopefully some of them may come to Argentina to organize the fight against these criminal organizations that are quite detrimental to democratic States. In addition, I am a supporter of the Italian anti-mafia law which I consider the best in the world, since most of the mobsters detentions are carried out as a result of the same.