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


Guatemala is examining the possibility of taxing legalized drug crop cultivation, de-penalizing low level drug crimes and offering amnesty to…


A judge lowered the sentence of a convicted Guatemalan drug trafficker in a US court on February 22, just weeks…

BARRIO 18 / 26 APR 2019

The Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are now home to some of the most sophisticated extortion…

About InSight Crime


InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…


InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.


Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…


Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.


Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…