DPA spearheaded efforts by the United Nations to establish the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in response to a request for assistance from the Government of Guatemala. Acting as an independent international body, CICIG aims to investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala – criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions, fostering impunity and undermining democratic gains in Guatemala since the end of the country's armed conflict in the 1990s. It represents an innovative initiative by the United Nations, together with a Member State, to strengthen the rule of law in a post-conflict country.
The Commission's mandate permits it to carry out independent investigations, to act as a complementary prosecutor and to recommend public policies to help fight the criminal groups that are the subject of its investigations.
CICIG's Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Guatemala established an initial two-year mandate which was renewed in April 2009, in January 2011, in April 2015 and again in April 2016. Its current mandate runs through September 2019.
The Secretary-General appointed Iván Velásquez of Colombia as CICIG Commissioner on 31 August 2013. A distinguished former auxiliary magistrate of Colombia’s Supreme Court, Mr. Velásquez coordinated high-profile investigations into links between paramilitary groups and public officials. He also gained extensive prosecutorial and investigative experience in the Attorney General’s Office and as Regional Director of the Public Prosecutor’s office covering the Department of Antioquia. Drawing on this solid background and relevant experience, Mr. Velásquez is reinforcing the rule of law and contributing to efforts to combat criminal networks in Guatemala.