HomeNewsBriefCICIG Director Bemoans Extradition Delays in Guatemala

CICIG Director Bemoans Extradition Delays in Guatemala


With more than a dozen suspects awaiting extradition to other countries, the director of the United Nations-backed anti-impunity body in Guatemala publicly criticized the country's slow and bureaucratic extradition process.

ElPeriodico reports that 18 individuals in Guatemala who are currently facing extradition orders from other countries have seen little progress in their cases, despite the fact that many of them have been in custody for months. This list includes ex-President Alfonso Portillo and high-profile drug dealers like Waldemar Lorenzana and Walther Overdick, all three of whom are wanted in the United States.

The Guatemalan daily cites Francisco Dall'Anese (pictured), head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), as saying that the problem lies in the red tape, paperwork and endless appeals associated with the process, which is endorsed by the Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz.

“We have to work together in order to reduce our response time to criminal activity,” Dall’Anese told ElPeriodico. “Extradition orders are processed here like they were in the 19th century.” Paz y Paz, for her part, has reportedly maintained that the lengthy legal procedures are enshrined in international treaties, and cannot be avoided.

InSight Crime Analysis

Dall’Anese was likely referring to the use of a legal tool known as the “amparo,” by which defense lawyers can claim that their constitutional rights are being violated, often postponing extradition indefinitely.

Still, his calls for Guatemala to speed up its extradition process are surprising coming from an official whose job it is to promote the development of a strong and independent judiciary in the country. As InSight Crime has pointed out, extradition can be a crutch to a developing judicial system like Guatemala’s, and it has the potential to reinforce domestic impunity.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content

COLOMBIA / 26 JUN 2014

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)'s most recent report on the global narcotics trade has placed a…

COLOMBIA / 23 MAR 2016

This study focuses on four countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. Each presents different challenges and opportunities for research, and…


A new United Nations report highlights skyrocketing rates of forced displacement in Central America's Northern Triangle region, attributing the trend in large…

About InSight Crime


Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…


InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…


Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…


Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…


Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…