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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04GUATEMALA2180
2004-08-26 21:06:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Guatemala
Cable title:  

GOG LOOKING TO KEEP CICIACS ALIVE

Tags:   PHUM  PGOV  KCRM  SNAR  ASEC  GT 
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						UNCLAS GUATEMALA 002180 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KCRM SNAR ASEC GT
SUBJECT: GOG LOOKING TO KEEP CICIACS ALIVE




1. The Ambassador met with Guatemalan Transparency and
Political Reform Commissioner Mario Fuentes-Destarac on
August 20 to discuss the GOG,s plans to revise CICIACS. The
Constitutional Court,s August 6 decision eliminated the
possibility for an entirely independent CICIACS. Since that
decision, Fuentes-Destarac, Vice President Eduardo Stein, and
Attorney General Juan Luis Florido have developed a new
vision: a &super-unit8 within the Public Ministry, led by
a civil society nominee and possibly staffed by international
experts. Though the Executive is still hammering out the
details, Fuentes-Destarac described to the Ambassador an
organization that would still have the power to effectively
investigate organized crime and clandestine groups but also
observe the confines of the Court,s decision.
Fuentes-Destarac assured the Ambassador that such an
organization, functioning within the Public Ministry, would
be able to solicit judicial orders for wire-taps (a tool that
the UN and other international representatives believe is key
to successful investigation of organized crime).



2. Fuentes-Destarac also discussed the Cabinet,s current
efforts to broaden the definition of conspiracy charges and
strengthen the penal code on such crimes in observance of the
Palermo Protocol on Organized Crime. The Executive hoped to
present proposed legislation to the Congress during the first
week of September.



3. Earlier in the week, the Ambassador met with three
representatives from the Coalition for CICIACS: Helen Mack,
Claudia Samayoa, and Orlando Blanco. At that time (and to
date), the CICIACS Coalition had not yet met with the GOG to
review possibilities for reform to the agreement. Members
were discouraged by the Court,s decision. The human rights
defenders proposed discontinuing the fight for CICIACS and
working directly with the UN High Commission of Human Rights
(which has signed an agreement with the GOG to open a office
locally) to develop benchmarks for public institutions,
guided by the Palermo Protocols. Though the Ambassador
agreed with the premise of the benchmarks, he also urged the
group to first analyze the government,s proposal before
leaving CICIACS behind.



4. Comment: Civil society and international consultants
designed CICIACS with the capability to work independently of
the Public Ministry in a large part due to lack of confidence
in former Attorney General Carlos de Leon. The appointment
of better-esteemed Juan Luis Florido changed the equation,
and a CICIACS-type institution could now more effectively
function within the Public Ministry. Civil society remains
disheartened, but the GOG is strategizing on alternatives to
the original CICIACS agreement and should be allowed time to
formulate a proposal. The GOG will approach civil society
and the United Nations after developing a new strategy.


HAMILTON