HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Should Consider 'CICIG'-Like Body: US Official
BRIEF

El Salvador Should Consider 'CICIG'-Like Body: US Official

EL SALVADOR / 9 JUL 2015 BY SAM TABORY EN

A top US State Department official said it would be an "intelligent" move for El Salvador and Honduras to consider establishing anti-impunity commissions, similar to the model that has been implemented in Guatemala. The sentiment highlights growing fears that organized crime and impunity in the Northern Triangle are beyond the control and capacity of existing national institutions. 

During a roundtable appearance in El Salvador, State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon said he thought it was wise of El Salvador and Honduras to consider support from the "international community" in their ongoing fight against impunity, reported La Prensa Grafica.

He went on to mention the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) as a possible model for such support, emphasizing that individual countries would need to make their own decisions about what type of model would work best for their national context. 

Shannon's statements come amid reported record levels of violence in El Salvador and huge corruption scandals in Guatemala and, to a lesser extent, Honduras. 

El Salvador's Constitutional Court has reportedly indicated there would be nothing unconstitutional about setting up a CICIG-like body in the country, according to La Prensa Grafica. While past administrations have floated the idea of an anti-impunity body as recently as 2010, the administration of current President Sanchez Ceren has made it clear that it does not think such a body is necessary. 

The CICIG is an internationally-led commission that was established with the help of the United Nations in 2007. It has been used to fight impunity, corruption and organized criminal networks in Guatemala.

InSight Crime Analysis

This is not the first time that the question has arisen of whether a body like the CICIG could be set up elsewhere in Central America. In June, protestors in Honduras demanded anti-impunity measures similar to those found in Guatemala.

While the judicial systems of the Northern Triangle are badly in need of reform, there are legitimate questions about whether the CICIG model is truly sustainable over time. As InSight Crime has previously noted, internationally staffed commissions like CICIG are inherently expensive to operate, giving rise to questions of who would fund such a body in El Salvador and for how long.

The CICIG was originally proposed as a short-term measure to build local capacity and independent judicial institutions in Guatemala. But eight years later, there is little indication that Guatemala's judicial system is capable of carrying out investigations into the highest levels of power without the CICIG leading the way. In some ways, Guatemala has become dependent on the CICIG to carry out such probes. This doesn't take away from the CICIG's very real achievements, but it does mean that if this model should be replicated elsewhere, there should be more focus on strengthening existing judicial bodies. 

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.

DONATE

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.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 5 NOV 2021

US prosecutors have charged an alleged MS13 leader in Honduras and another man thought to be one of his main…

BRAZIL / 23 SEP 2015

“From boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn't what it used to be,” reads the…

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 AUG 2015

Allegations have surfaced of irregular behavior in land purchases by Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina, triggering further speculation that the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…