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At the forum "Young and Committed", Commissioner Iván Velásquez called upon the youth to join forces in fighting impunity.



Guatemala, October 27, 2011. With the goal of strengthening criminal prosecution capacities, a three-day training course began today on questioning and interview techniques. Eighty individuals will attend the course, including prosecutors from the Special Anti-impunity Prosecutor's Bureau, the Special Prosecutor's Bureau for Crimes against Life and officials of the National Civil Police (PNC).

With the support of the German Cooperation and under the management of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a series of training courses was planned to give international experts the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with Guatemalan prosecutors.

The event was inaugurated by Michael Fabri, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Germany; Francisco Javier Dall'Anese Ruiz, Head of CICIG; and Mynor Melgar, Secretary General of the Public Prosecutor's Office. United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guatemala, René Mauricio Valdés, was also invited as a special guest. The course was given by Rodolfo Solórzano Sánchez, a Costa Rican specialist in criminal sciences.

"We value the work of CICIG and the Special Anti-impunity Prosecutor's Bureau to fight this scourge. A prosecutor's work is difficult and dangerous in this country; therefore, they need support in order to fight crime and work to bring justice to victims," stressed Michael Fabri.

He added that although the Commission is helping to enforce justice, it cannot solve all the problems, "because the fight against impunity and crime prevention is the responsibility of all Guatemalans".

In his address, the Commissioner stressed that the work conducted by prosecutors in Guatemala to fight organized crime is a brave man's work: "To be an organized crime prosecutor, you must recall the work of figures such as Falcone or Terranova, who gave their lives fighting for their country."

The Commissioner believes the fight against impunity and crime in Guatemala is not a straightforward task, given the homicide rate of 41 per 100,000 inhabitants. With this in mind, he highlighted the work carried out by each and every prosecutor to reduce the homicide rate, with the support of CICIG and the United Nations—which is keen to address the problem on a global scale.

He stressed that in accordance with the 2011-2013 strategic plan, CICIG's actions will have an overriding focus on seven key elements: the creation of specialized prosecutor's offices within the MP, based on the model of Special Anti-impunity Prosecutor's Bureau (FECI); the creation of an International Relations Office at the MP; the strengthening of the Office of Victim and Witness Protection; the strengthening of the Analysis Section of the MP; the creation of a police force with criminal investigation expertise; the strengthening of the Special Investigation Methods Section, composed of staff of the MP and the PNC; and the creation of a Police Information Platform.

In his address, Mynor Melgar said that the joint efforts of CICIG and the MP have produced satisfactory criminal prosecution results and perpetrators of criminal acts have been brought before the courts as a result.

"The training will help to strengthen the capacities of prosecutors and change the image people have of the ability of the MP to resolve cases. This course looks to improve our interview and questioning techniques so that we can act appropriately in order to solve an investigation," he explained.

The Commissioner and the MP Secretary General expressed their appreciation for the support of the German Embassy in helping to strengthen the judicial system.

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        About Guatemala
  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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