Citizens’ Dialogues in Quetzaltenango: Law-Abiding Culture and Justice in Guatemala

Citizens’ Dialogues in Quetzaltenango: Law-Abiding Culture and Justice in Guatemala


The second Citizens’ Dialogue on Law-Abiding Culture and Justice in Guatemala took place today in Quetzaltenango, with the participation of several sectors. This Dialogue is carried out with the support of the German Cooperation through the CICIG Strengthening Project, at the request of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to increase the awareness, dissemination, and management of information regarding the strengthening of judicial systems and combating impunity in Guatemala.

The meeting took place in Quetzaltenango, on the campus of Universidad Rafael Landívar, with the attendance of students, teachers, and researchers from the different universities of that city. This regional forum was inaugurated with a message from the authorities of CICIG and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in Guatemala. Paola Hidalgo, GIZ Representative, reviewed the projects that the German Cooperation implements in support of justice institutions in Guatemala.

Also, Commissioner Iván Velásquez sent a message to the students, stressing that these citizens’ dialogues intend to reflect on the importance of the law-abiding culture and the current situation of justice in each district of the country.

With the support of the German Cooperation, CICIG contributed in the design of a tool called Integrated System of Justice (Sistema Integrado de Justicia, SIJ), which will be used by the entities that make up the Judiciary.  This tool makes a real-time verification not only of the operating status of each body or entity comprising the justice system, but also the situation of impunity and the asymmetric growth between the institutions that make up the national justice system.”

Lectura de interés:  Report on the Dialogue for the Strengthening of Justice and the Fight Against Impunity in Guatemala

The indigenous authorities of Quetzaltenango, as well as academics and representatives of the civil society, noted the importance of working on a law-abiding culture in Guatemala, with particular emphasis on the country’s multicultural diversity.

Quetzaltenango’s Situation

Essential data on the situation of justice resulting from SIJ were presented in Quetzaltenango, within the framework of promoting a law-abiding culture and the fight against corruption and impunity. From the data shown in the SIJ, it is possible to visualize the needs of institutional strengthening in matters of justice as the appointment of prosecutors, an increase in the number of judges, among others.

The SIJ seeks to highlight and support the efforts that focus on strengthening the justice system and finding solutions to the problem of impunity. This support consists of developing a comprehensive and participatory process, which includes not only the institutions responsible for the administration of justice but other civil stakeholders.

It focuses on the identification and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the criminal process in Guatemala, as well as the development and dissemination of specific recommendations focused on influencing the legal and institutional strengthening of agencies. 

 Other Citizens’ Dialogues

 Other regional dialogues will take place in the coming days in the departments of Zacapa and Quiché.