WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a former Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, today issued the following statement regarding Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina’s decision to renew the mandate of the United Nations International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) for two years when it expires in September.
“I applaud President Pérez Molina for his decision to extend the mandate of the CICIG. As the United States looks to increase our investment in Central America, we need to work with trusted institutions with track records of strong results. The CICIG has had a remarkable impact in reducing extremely high levels of impunity in Guatemala, and I am confident that it will help to further strengthen the rule of law in Guatemala in the coming years. I believe that President Pérez Molina’s decision will further solidify confidence from our Congress in the Obama Administration’s $1.1 billion foreign assistance proposal for Central America. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join me in support of this funding.”
Congressman Engel sent a letter to President Pérez Molina on March 24th urging him to renew CICIG’s mandate. He was joined by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Ranking Member Albio Sires (D-NJ) in this effort.
Since 2007, the CICIG has had a major impact in combating powerful and violent criminal networks that have compromised the rule of law in Guatemala. In addition, the Commission has spearheaded major reforms of Guatemala’s justice system and bolstered the investigative capacity of local police and prosecutors.
Read the letter Rep. Engel sent to President Molina here