The International Legal Assistance Consortium will initiate the public launch of its report on the Guatemalan justice sector today in Washington, D.C at 14h30 (Washington DC local time). The report, which is available in English and in Spanish, describes the challenges Guatemala faces in building greater respect for the rule of law and sets out recommendations to assist national actors and international partners in this effort.
The discussion will be led by four of the eight experts that participated in the assessment mission last year, namely:
- Nerea Aparicio, Director, Latin American and the Caribbean Division, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
- Mike Enwall, Individual Member of ILAC. Previously President of the Colorado Criminal Defence Bar and Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial District of the state of Colorado
- Luis María Palma, Member of the National Center for State Courts, Vice President of the Latin America chapter of the International Association for Court Administration, Director of the Center for Judicial Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Belgrano
- Carolina Valenzuela, Member of the International Association of Prosecutors, Crown Prosecutor in the Province of Alberta, Canada
In addition to the public launch event, the experts will conduct other meetings, including with representatives of several US Congresspersons, the US Department of State, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
ILAC notes that the main launch event for the report was originally scheduled to take place in Guatemala City during the first week of October. However, this event was cancelled in light of the ongoing efforts of the Government of Guatemala to bar re-entry to the country for the Head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), Iván Velásquez.
The refusal of the Government to give effect to a decision by the Constitutional Court ordering that Mr. Velásquez be readmitted gives rise to serious concerns about its commitment to the fundamental principles of rule of law. ILAC has already expressed its concerns regarding this state of affairs, and looks forward to discussing its report with all relevant actors in Guatemala as soon as circumstances permit.