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



Guatemala, 8 May 2014. The United Nations in Guatemala and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) acknowledge the significant achievements made by the Attorney General of the Republic over recent years with respect to the fight against impunity. Both institutions will continue to closely follow the procedure to appoint the next Attorney General and Head of the Public Prosecutor's Office in order to continue joint efforts to strengthen the justice system.

With a view to the next two procedures of nominating committees, and based on our monitoring of the selection procedure that culminated in the drafting of a list of six final candidates for the Attorney General position, the United Nations and CICIG respectfully present the following considerations and recommendations:

  • In the medium term, finalize the revision of the Nominating Committees Act in relation to the link that should exist between candidate grading and the drafting of final lists of candidates, ensuring decisions are subject to public opinion.
  • Respect the dates set forth in the timetable of events in order to ensure legal certainty and transparency of election procedures.
  • As provided for under United Nations Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, and with the aim of preventing nominating committees from taking arbitrary decisions, there should be standardized criteria with "safeguards against appointments based on partiality or prejudice, excluding any discrimination against a person".
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of recognized honesty, in accordance with Principle 10 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, which states that "[p]ersons selected for judicial office shall be individuals of integrity and ability". This assessment should include the analysis of information presented by national institutions, CICIG and civil society as well as evidence for defence.
  • The vote of each committee member in drafting the final list of candidates should be public, explicit and clear, based on open debate and objective criteria covering the candidate profile, interview content, and challenges filed against candidates, in accordance with the United Nations Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors and the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • In order to assist in strengthening rule of law and in improving the work of committee members, CICIG will draft a proposal for a nominating committee procedures manual, which will be at the disposal of committee members.

The European Union delegation in Guatemala, the Embassies of Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, Spain, the Swiss Confederation, the United Kingdom, and the United States in Guatemala and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Costa Rica—countries that support and maintain their strong commitment to CICIG—along with the United Nations and UNOHCHR in Guatemala, support the present press release.

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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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