BRIEF

CICIG Director Bemoans Extradition Delays in Guatemala

EXTRADITION / 19 JUL 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

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.

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.

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 MAY 2015

The latest development in the corruption case that has toppled Guatemala's Vice President has brought the anti-impunity campaigners behind the…

EL CHAPO / 8 MAR 2016

Jailed Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s team of supporters has launched a media campaign in which, despite the…

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 AUG 2014

Presidents in Central America have blamed US drug policy for fueling the ongoing child migrant crisis, but the violence,…

Institutional Content

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …