Future of the Rule of Law, CICIG, and Justice Reform in Guatemala

January 30, 2019 • 10:00 – 11:30 am EST
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales recently ordered the expulsion of CICIG, a UN-sponsored independent investigative commission responsible for working with Guatemalan institutions to curb corruption and organized crime in Guatemala. His order gave CICIG international investigators and prosecutors 24 hours to leave the country. Since 2006, the combined efforts of CICIG and a strengthened Guatemalan attorney general’s office and judiciary have resulted in the national homicide rate declining by more than a third and convictions of cartels, organized crime, and official corruption increasing four-fold.
For the past decade, the U.S. has been a key stakeholder in partnering with Guatemala in strengthening law enforcement and the justice system to help control drug and human trafficking and reduce push factors that drive forced migration. Guatemalan and international experts have recently expressed grave concerns that the Morales Administration’s attacks on CICIG, the constitutional court (after it suspended the CICIG expulsion order), and the civilian national police will undercut those efforts.

Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) will deliver opening remarks. An expert panel including Brittany Benowitz, Chief Counsel, Center for Human Rights, American Bar Association; Ambassador William Brownfield, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and former Ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile; Leah Campos, Former HFAC Senior Advisor for Western Hemisphere under Chairman Royce; Guatemalan Judge Claudia Escobar; Guatemalan business leader and former minister Peter Lamport; Mark L Schneider, former Assistant Administrator of USAID for Latin America and the Caribbean; and others will follow.

Please join us for a Capitol Hill public briefing on the threats to the rule of law and to the future of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) on Wednesday, January 30 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS. In collaboration with Americas Society and Council of the Americas; American Bar Association, Center for Human Rights; Inter-American Dialogue; Seattle International Foundation; Washington Office on Latin America.

Daniel F. Runde
Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair; Director, Project on Prosperity and Development

Representative Norma Torres


Brittany Benowitz

Chief Counsel American Bar Association, Center for Human Rights

Leah Campos

Former HFAC Senior Advisor for Western Hemisphere under Chairman Royce

Claudia Escobar

Guatemalan Judge

Peter Lamport

Guatemalan Business Leader and Former Minister

Mark L Schneider

Former Assistant Administrator of USAID for Latin America and the Caribbean

Michael A. Matera