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Statement by the Federal Foreign Office on fighting corruption in Guatemala

11.01.2019 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (11 January) on the announcement by the Guatemalan Government of its intention to terminate the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala ahead of schedule:

We are very concerned and disappointed about the announcement by the Guatemalan Government that it will terminate the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) ahead of schedule. The German Government expects the Guatemalan Government to rethink this decision, which in the meantime has been provisionally overturned by the Constitutional Court of Guatemala. It is important that the CICIG can continue to work unhindered until its mandate ends in September 2019. 

In the eleven years of its existence, the Commission has played an important role in strengthening the rule of law in Guatemala. The CICIG sends a message to people throughout the region that it is possible to take effective steps against corruption and impunity. Germany is an important donor to and supporter of the CICIG.

Guatemala is urged to continue its efforts to strengthen the rule of law and democracy for the benefit of all citizens of the country.

Background information:

To reduce the high levels of impunity and corruption in the country, Guatemala asked the United Nations and the international community to establish an International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemal – CICIG). The Commission began its work in January 2008. Its achievements include uncovering a corruption scandal at the Guatemalan Tax and Customs Authority in April 2015. The CICIG is financed by voluntary contributions from the international community. The European Union is one of the most important donors. Germany has supported the CICIG by providing almost 5.5 million euros since 2009. 
On 28 August, the Guatemalan Government announced that it did not intend to renew the mandate of the CICIG beyond 2019. It then terminated the agreement with immediate effect on 7 January 2019. Following appeals against this termination, the Constitutional Court suspended the Government’s decision on 9 January and instructed the authorities to enable the CICIG to continue fulfilling its functions.


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