[*410] The goal of a transparent, efficient criminal justice system, as envisioned in the new Code, remains just that - a goal. n333 The obvious problem now is the operationalization of the new Code. Although advances have been made, corruption, impunity and citizen security are cries still heard in the street. In the courts and with prosecutors, these problems are manifested in low salaries, official corruption and deficient training. While roles are defined in the Code, they need to be translated into new administrative and organizational structures within the field. Such an endeavor will also require increased cooperation and collaboration among the police, prosecutors and judges. Legal education at the University level must also track these changes and prepare new attorneys to face the new reality.
Steps are already underway to address these concerns and take Guatemala to the next level of administration of justice, the most important of which is the new political will to prosecute and convict former government officials deemed corrupt:
. Former President of the Supreme Court, Juan Jose Rodil Peralta, has been charged with misuse of Q201 million. n334
. Former Attorney General Ramses Cuestas is under investigation by prosecutors. n335
. Another former Attorney General, Telesforo Guerra Cahn, has been indicted for attempted fraud of Q70 million. n336
. A number of military officials and police officers, some high- ranking, have been charged as being "narcomilitares." n337
. The Attorney General is even trying to extradite former president Jorge Serrano from Panama to stand trial for his 1992 coup. n338
[*411] . Former dictator General Rios Montt was called by prosecutors to answer questions about his responsibility in the Dos Erres massacre. n339
. Former Interior Minister Danilo Parinello, former Assistant Interior Minister Col. Mario Merida, an former police chief Salvador Figueroa were recently sentenced for their involvement in the death of a university student in 1994, n340 although this was later overturned on appeal. n341
. Former Vice President Gustavo Espina Salguero was convicted for his participation in the 1992 Serrano coup, n342 although the sentence was only a fine of Q7,300 (about US$ 1,200). n343
. In the Sandoval case, which involved a kidnapping, rape and murder, twenty-one suspects have been arrested, nineteen of which were former military, again evidencing the administration's political will to take on even the military. n344
. Six kidnappers, bank robbers, and former military police officers were arrested after an intense criminal investigation. n345
Similarly, the official human rights record greatly improved in 1997 over prior years, according to Human Rights Watch. n346 Under the new [*412] Code, the prosecution has established an approximately 70 per cent conviction rate. n347
The major reforms in Latin America generally in recent years have been focusing on organizational and administrative issues. n348 Code reform, if not combined with new organizational and administrative systems, does not necessarily yield the desired results. n349 In court systems throughout the region, most notably in Costa Rica, Chile and Peru, new organizational and administrative structures have been designed and implemented with positive results in reducing delay, minimizing exposure to corruption, creating accountability, as well as establishing uniform practices, performance standards and systems to measure performance. n350
With this in mind, another major advance in making justice work at the local level has been the creation of new justice centers. The Guatemalan Government designated Zacapa and Quetzaltenango as places to focus attention to make the new Code work. That model, developed with USAID assistance, consists of the following: n351
(1) Direct, decentralized access by the public to police, prosecutors and court officials;
(2) Use of standardized, user-friendly forms, uniform across all focus centers, as approved by the respective Guatemalan Government institutions, for the reporting and processing of crimes;
(3) Case management and records systems to reduce opportunities for corruption and improve the quality of case supervision. The systems generate accurate statistics (case type, status, assignment, progress and other appropriate monitoring data, as approved by the Court) and eliminate a major opportunity for corruption (in "lost" files). To some extent, these systems are to be computerized with a user-friendly software package;
(4) Inclusion of interpretation programs, where appropriate, to allow access to justice for non-native Spanish speakers; n352
(5) Introduction of alternative dispute resolution as a way to settle cases identified through improved case intake and diversion programs; and
(6) A community outreach program (conducted in at the local level, and in local languages, as appropriate), informing members of the public of the services offered at the Center, and providing public awareness of how to access the justice system.
Among other advances, the two existing centers have installed modernized docket and case filing systems in the appellate level courts, and trial and other lower courts. The system allows the courts to provide more efficient service to the public. The new organizational structure promotes team approaches (police, investigator, prosecutor, judge) to dispute resolution and problem solving, while providing superior services to the public. n353
While USAID has focused its technical assistance to the Government with a view toward making the justice system work in an efficient, transparent manner, MINUGUA has been collaborating with the same justice sector institutions to expand justice to areas of the country where no formal presence previously existed. The first new center was in Nebaj, located in the northern part of Guatemala in a heavily indigenous area previously unserved by the formal system. [*414] This new center, opened in February 1997, represents an extension of the existing formal system to a new location. n354
USAID and MINUGUA continue to collaborate with the Guatemalan Government in expanding the justice center model and further promoting decentralized access to justice. In 1998, USAID joined forces with MINUGUA in Nehaj to integrate the administrative advances from the Justice Centers to the Nebaj location. Further, USAID supported Guatemalan government efforts to open new Centers in Escuintla and San Benito (Flores), again with the administrative advances from the Zacapa and Quetzaltenango experiences. In addition, as the Court's management and oversight are based in Guatemala City, the USAID efforts included extension of the administrative model to the ten criminal courts (juzgados penales) in the Capital through creation of a clerks office (Centro Administrative de Gestion Penal), a first for a capital city in Latin Americas. n355
New transparent systems of the justice centers in Zacapa and Quetzaltenango have served to deter corruption. Based in part on these experiences, the court looks to promote oral processes in other areas of law with a view toward increasing transparency and efficiency and reducing opportunities for official corruption. n356
With regard to salaries, discussion has already begun on how to increase the budgets of the courts, prosecutors and police. n357 It is [*415] hoped that increased salaries will attract better qualified candidates, and provide an honorable salary, so that employees will not be as tempted by corruption. In all, the courts have fired about 40 judges, the police about 120 officers and the Public Ministry just under 40. n358 Even so, it has been difficult for the government to rid itself of corrupt or incompetent officials given restrictions in the Labor Code. n359
Training needs are now being addressed. The Training Unit (Unidad de Capacitacion or UNICAP) of the Public Ministry is in the process of a needs detection analysis and reforming the education process for prosecutors based on USAID technical assistance. First, UNICAP established the ideal profile of a prosecutor. It then determined the performance level of current prosecutors. Then, it adjusted its curriculum to meet the exact needs of prosecutors. Finally, a system is [*416] now in place to measure the impact of the training exercises, so that corrections can be made to the curriculum on an as needed basis. n360 Previously, UNICAP had been providing courses that were their "best guess" at needs, or simply because some foreign donor had offered them, whether or not they actually contributed to performance. No attempt at measuring impact was ever included, other than reporting the number of courses offered or number of course participants; both are fairly meaningless statistics. n361 Following the UNICAP lead, similar efforts are now underway at the Judicial School (Escuela de Estudios Judiciales) with USAID technical support. n362
New organizational relationships, at the national and local levels, are being worked out, to advance cooperation and collaboration. At the local levels, as discussed above, police, prosecutors and court officials are now working together at the justice center level.
On a national level, new inter-institutional collaboration is emerging. Historically, this has been difficult. Between 1986 and 1988, USAID paid the initial costs of supporting a National Justice Commission which became defunct. n363 The National Commission was created in 1987 by the President of the judicial branch who made himself the head of the Commission. The Commission included the Public Ministry, Congress, Interior Ministry, Bar Association and law schools. n364 Likely reasons for the Commission's collapse include:
[tdi2m,m'(m)',ql [tcg1n,mp1,ql,vu1] (a)It was created in response to an external request (USAID) rather than in response to the desires of the Guatemalan Government; (b)Control by the Judicial branch probably reduced interest of others; (c)The Commission had no workplan; and (d)The natural tendencies of the institutions to avoid collaboration. n365
A new Commission for the Strengthening of Justice was called for in March 1997 to promote modernization, access to justice, streamlin [*417] ing of process and professional excellence. n366 Further, the Court, Public Ministry and Interior Ministry, the three principle entities responsible for justice in Guatemala, have signed an agreement to improve coordination and advance a common agenda, through the Instancia Coordinadora. n367 It now appears that inter-institutional coordination is working.
On a parallel track, a special "Commission for the Modernization of the Judicial Branch," was established, made up of court functionaries and presided over by then Court President Ricardo Alfonso Umaa Aragon. From November 14, 1996 to April 28, 1997, the Commission held a series of conferences, with assistance funding from the World Bank and assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Based on those conferences, the Supreme Court drafted a modernization plan for the judicial branch to be carried out in 1997-2002. The participatory process that went into the drafting of the plan is unprecedented in Guatemala's judicial system. The plan, unveiled on October 7, 1997, outlines five major areas: (a) inadequacy in carrying out court functions, (b) limited access to administration of justice, (c) corruption, (d) deficient institutional management, and (e) lack of confidence in the court system by the public. n368 The plan is refreshingly frank in recognizing these problems and proposes an ambitious framework for addressing them. n369
Major reforms are now underway in legal education. At the request of the Law School Dean at the University of San Carlos, USAID is providing technical assistance to revamp the curriculum to [*418] make it relevant to the needs of today's attorneys. n370 In addition, new course materials in trial practice and trial advocacy, adapted to the new Guatemalan Criminal Procedure Code, are being produced in collaboration with the Universidad Rafael Landivar. n371
Until 1995, USAID was the principal and lead donor assisting the Guatemalan government to reform its justice sector. Since then, in the context of the peace accords, other donors have expressed interest in becoming involved. In the human rights area, MINUGUA has taken the major leadership role with its human rights verification mission. n372 Under the peace accords, MINUGUA also has a role in institutionalization of legal reform, and has been active in support of programs for a pluri-cultural and pluri-linguistic access to justice (financed by the Dutch and U.S. Governments) n373 and public defenders (financed by the U.S., with salaries of public defenders being paid via a Spanish Government contribution to UNDP). n374
A number of other donors are also now active. As mentioned above, the Spanish are involved with the public defenders and the reform of the police. UNDP has also begun activities in the justice sector in terms of the public defenders program and the technical assistance portion of the World Bank effort with the Commission for the Modernization of the Judicial System. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is expected to become involved in 1998 n375 along with the European Union n376 , Canadians n377 and others. n378 The involvement of additional donors should keep up the pressure for additional [*419] reform. It should serve to lessen the burden on the United States for leading policy dialogue, a job that until recently, it did mainly on its own.
There is now an opportunity for real change in Guatemala for the first time in 40 years. However, the risk of failure is also extremely high. The Guatemalan people are seeking tangible results that the peace process is working. The inability of government to curb violence and insecurity may present the most serious threat to the peace process. As a result, the Government must produce results in the short term, and continue to produce results over the next several years.
Donor interest and collaboration is at an all-time high. Similarly, the Government of Guatemala itself seems committed to the process. However, the present malaise was not created in a day, and it will take a generational shift for Guatemala to mature into a more nuanced system of justice. In the mean time, both the government and donors must keep pushing to ensure the peace process and real reform, the prospects for which have never been higher.
n1. See Juan Carlos Suchite (American Embassy in Guatemala City), Guatemala Security & Safety Equipment Market (1), FT Asia Intelligence Wire: Industry Sector Analysis (ISA), July 15, 1997, available in LEXIS, News Library.
n2. See INE: Majority Live Below Poverty line, Siglo News, Oct. 22, 1997, at 2.
n3. See U.S. Agency for International Development, Peace in Guatemala: Inclusion, Local Empowerment, and Poverty Reduction: Strategic Plan, USAID Assistance to Guatemala, FY 1997 - 2002, at 6-7 (1997).
n4. See Fernando Quionez, Justicia para atraer inversion, El Periodico, Feb. 5, 1998, at 26; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Criminalidad, principal preocupacion de empresarios, Prensa Libre, Sept. 19, 1997, at 2 (citing the survey of 200 business executives, carried out by the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce - the Camera de Comercio de Guatemala). See also, Abner Guoz, Inseguridad del pais ahuyenta la inversion y aumenta los gastos, El Periodico, Nov. 30, 1997, at 4; Juan Carlos Ruiz, En demanda de castigo, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 30, 1997, at 3; Botran: Sin seguridad, no hay inversion, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 14, 1998, at 8; Insisten en el tema de seguridad, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 22, 1998, at 13; Haroldo Shetemul, Sin seguridad no habra desarrollo economico, (interview with Jaime Botran, President of CACIF) Cronica, Jan. 23, 1998, at 15-16; Julieta Sandoval, Inseguridad y crisis economica impiden que los acuerdos de paz sean notorios, Prensa Libre, Feb. 21, 1998, at 6. In tourist destination Panajachel, the Mayor cites violence as the source in that city's drop in tourist revenue. See Menos turistas por violencia, El Periodico, Dec. 14, 1997, at 4; La inseguridad, talon de Aquiles del Gobierno, Prensa Libre, Jan. 14, 1998, at 3 (calling citizen insecurity the "Achilles' heel" of the Arzu Administration). See also, Carlos Ajanel Soberanis & Carlos Castaaza Rosales, Dos aos de Gobierno: Seguridad, la tarea pendiente, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 13, 1998 at 3. President Arzu recognizes that there are grave problems in Guatemala's administration of justice. Arzu admite graves problemas de seguridad, Prensa Libre, Jan. 21, 1998, at 71. After the rape of five American students in Guatemala, the President of the Congress, Rafael Barrios Flores, reported that such incidents contribute to the poor image of Guatemala and that tourism will be affected. Ponen en duda la violacion, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 20, 1998, at 3. That particular event led to the cancellation of other student trips to Guatemala from the United States, along with calls for a travel advisory, warning Americans about the dangers of tourist travel to Guatemala. See EEUU: dos universidades cancelan viajes a Guatemala, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 21, 1998, at 1; Julie Lopez & Edin Hernandez, Estados Unidos: Sigue peligro de Travel Advisory, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 20, 1998, at 3; El Nuevo Herald critica a Gobierno guatemalteco, El Periodico, Jan. 21, 1998, at 3. The security situation, especially for tourists, is to the point were Interior Minister Rodolfo Mendoza suggests that tourist groups advise their embassies of their travel plans and that they have a roving security patrol accompany them on their travels as a precautionary measure. See Julie Lopez & Edin Hernandez, Departamento de Estado: Se teme Travel Advisory, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 20, 1998, at 3.
n5. See Jennifer Bauduy, Kidnapping: a legacy of war, haunts nation in peace, Siglo News, Dec. 10, 1997, at 4; GV: 138 secuestros solo en enero, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 26, 1998, at 5. See, e.g., Edgar Giron Castillo and Jorge Mario Garcia, Secuestradores desafian a las autoridades; plagian a 2 personas, Prensa Libre, Jan. 29, 1998, at 4.
n6. See Suchite, supra note 1. This trend seems to be continuing into 1998. See En cuatro dias, 33 carros robados, El Periodico, Jan. 5, 1998, at 4. On the positive side, however, there may have been a slight decrease in car thefts from 1996 to 1997. Officially, in 1996, there were 5,303 car thefts. In 1997, there were 4,593 official reports of theft, a reduction of 760. See Gandera se pone a la defensiva, El Periodico, Jan. 6, 1998, at 6; Disminuyo robo de vehiculos, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 6, 1998, at 8. The car phenomena continued into 1999. See Julio F. Lara, Robacarros usan parqueos publicos, Prensa Libre, Feb. 8, 1999, at 8.
n7. See Erick Campos, Robo de vehiculos es el delito que mas denunciaron los guatemaltecos en 1996, Prensa Libre, Sept. 16, 1997, at 8.
n8. Suchite, supra note 1.
n9. See Guatemala y EE.UU. firman convenio para devolucion de vehiculos robados, Prensa Libre, May 5, 1997, at 3.
n10. See Myriam Larra, PDH: Gobierno incapaz de controlar ola delincuencial, Prensa Libre, Jan. 30, 1998, at 3. Vice President Luis Flores has called 1998 the "Year of Citizen Security." Flores: Ao de la seguridad, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 23, 1998, at 5.
n11. See, e.g., Policia identifica a tres presuntos aslatabancos, Prensa Libre, Oct. 20, 1997, at 6; Julio Revolorio, Asalto numero 42 al sistema bancario, El Periodico, Nov. 15, 1997, at 4; Donald Gonzalez, Muertos en asalto a banco, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 25, 1997, at 63; Alba Trejo, Declaran alerta bancaria, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 30, 1997, at 6; Rodolfo Zelada, Sucesos: Caen supuestos asaltabancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 3, 1997, at 55; Equipo Investigador, Asalto a bancos: Lo que no se ha dicho, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 4, 1997, at 3; Rodolfo Zelada, Capturan a presuntos asaltabancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 9, 1997, at 2; Rodolfo Zelada, Sucesos: Capturan a presuntos asaltabancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 12, 1997, at 2; Seguridad: Segundo asalto bancario del ao, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 10, 1998, at 39.
n12. See Equipo Investigador, Bancos han sufrido mas asaltos en 1997 que durante los ultimos cuatro aos juntos, Siglo Veintiuno, Sept. 18, 1997, at 3. In one case, for example, bank robbers attacked a bank within a few yards of a police station housing both the Treasury Police and the National Police. In that particular instance, the robbers were caught. See Guillermo Mendoza, Dos muertos en frustrado asalto bancario, El Periodico, Nov. 25, 1997, at 4.
n13. Seguridad y Justicia: El ao del terror, Prensa Libre, Dec. 30, 1997, at 4 (Resumen noticiero Supp.). From January to November, 1997, there were forty-five assaults on banks. See Mendoza acepta que ha fallado, El Periodico, Nov. 29, 1997, at 4. The total figure for 1997 was put at 51 bank robberies. See En 1997: Se esfumaron Q14 millones de la banca, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 5, 1998, at 5.
n14. See Julie Lopez, Asalto a bancos y secuestro, delitos con la misma huella, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 30, 1997, at 21.
n15. See Donald Gonzalez, Siguen asaltos a bancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 29, 1997, at 55; Luis Escobar, Amilcar Perez, ex Policia Militar Ambulante: Capturan a supuesto jefe de asaltabancos, El Periodico, Feb. 8, 1998, at 1. Ex-Army Lieutenant Carlos Enrique Chun Choc is a concrete example. Chun was formerly in military intelligence and counter-intelligence. Chun is now one of the leaders of a kidnapping gang, which is also engaged in car theft, especially of cargo trucks carrying coffee or cardamon. See La trayectoria del ex militar Chun, El Periodico, Dec. 3, 1997, at 3. Attacks on coffee producers have become a serious problem. See Abner Guoz, El azote de los cafetaleros, El Periodico, Feb. 5, 1998, at 3; Abner Guoz, Caficultores piden mayor seguridad, El Periodico, Feb. 6, 1998, at 4. Other former military are involved in crime as well. See, e.g., Asaltantes pertenecieron al Ejercito, El Periodico, Dec. 10, 1997, at 4; Martin Juarez and Carlos Arrazola, Ordenan captura de militar implicado en estafas, El Periodico, Dec. 10, 1997, at 3. The Military Police (Policia Militar Ambulante) were finally disbanded in 1997, in accordance with the Peace Accords. See Concluye desmovilizacion de la Policia Militar Ambulante, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 16, 1997, at 6; Instalaciones de la PMA al poder civil, Prensa Libre, Dec. 17, 1997, at 4. Interestingly, Public Ministry officials have also been implicated in bank robberies. See Indagan a oficiales del MP, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 5, 1998, at 8.
n16. See Lopez, supra note 14, at 21; Rodolfo Zelada, Vinculan a asaltabancos con secuestro de Mynor Suarez, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 4, 1997, at 2; Capturan a presunto jefe de asaltabancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 14, 1997, at 1.
n17. See, e.g., Ramon Hernandez S., Protestan en Izabal contra juez sealado de corrupto, Prensa Libre, Dec. 3, 1997, at 91; CSJ pide destitucion de los magistrados de Sala Duodecima, El Periodico, Jan. 27, 1998, at 6; Carlos Arrazola and Martin Juarez, Corrupcion en el Ejercito, El Periodico, Nov. 25, 1997, at 3; Seguridad y Justicia: Un mal ao para la justicia, Prensa Libre, Dec. 30, 1997, at 6 (resumen noticiero Supp.); Ante denuncias de corrupcion, ordenan investigar fiscalias, Prensa Libre, Jan. 4, 1998, at 8; Lucy Barrios and Marco Tulio Trejo, Chichicastenango: Alcalde acusado de corrupto, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 10, 1998, at 3; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Alejos Close: Urge depurar seccion del IGSS, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 14, 1998, at 5; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Contraloria: Mas anomalias en el IGSS, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 21, 1998, at 4; Despiden a otros 38 empleados de Migracion, El Periodico, Jan. 24, 1998, at 6; Caen oficiales del MP por supuestos vinculos con atracadores, Prensa Libre, Feb. 3, 1998, at 6; Gobernacion recibe dinero del crimen organizado: GV, Prensa Libre, Feb. 9, 1998, at 6; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Por corrupcion, despidos en la Contraloria, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 20, 1999, at 12. There is a perception that corruption is in part from the arrogance of power, with elites feeling that they are above the law and do not have to comply, reinforcing an image of an untouchable class, immune from the law. See, e.g., Edin Arguedas, Ni la Presidencia se resiste al pinabete, El Periodico, Dec. 10, 1997, at 8.
n18. See U.S. Dep't of State, Bureau for Int'l Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1997, at 134 [hereinafter Narcotics Report]; Oneida Najarro, Jueces de Sentencia piden crear tribunales de Narcoactividad, Prensa Libre, Feb. 22, 1998, at 7.
n19. See Ramon Hernandez S., Planty: jueces cooperan con narcos, Prensa Libre, Oct. 19, 1997, at 6. See also, Oneida Najarro, Descubren mas anomalias contra magistrados de la Sala Duodecima, Prensa Libre, Jan. 7, 1998, at 4.
n20. See, e.g., Edin Hernandez, Caso Beverly: Dicen que corrio dinero, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 14, 1997, at 3; Sin lugar recurso contra liberacion de Manzo, Prensa Libre, Jan. 6, 1998, at 9; Oneida Najarro, supra note 19, at 4; Marco Tulio Trejo, El MP pone en duda imparcialidad de sala, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 16, 1999, at 2.
n21. See Juan Carlos Suchite (American Embassy in Guatemala City), Guatemala Security & Safety Equipment Market (2), FT Asia Intelligence Wire: Industry Sector Analysis (ISA), July 15, 1997, available in LEXIS, News Library.
n22. See Oneida Najarro, El OJ esta enfermo: La corrupcion e impunidad lo agobian, Prensa Libre, Oct. 9, 1997, at 4. A former judge even heads a kidnapping gang. See Justicia: Solicitan nuevamente orden de aprehension contra ex juez, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 4, 1997, at 6.
n23. See Maynor Amezquita, Abogados: Un gremio dificil de sancionar, Siglo Veintiuno, Mar. 24, 1998, at 3 (noting the arcane procedural requirements needed to disbar an attorney. For example, at least 25 percent of the bar membership must vote on the issue. In the last two years, no member has received any disciplinary action).
n24. See New civilian police hit the streets, Siglo News, July 16, 1997, at 2; Police Academy Graduates 1,200 New Officers, Siglo News, Nov. 5, 1997, at 3; Carlos Menocal, Hoy inauguran nueva comisaria de la PNC, El Periodico, Nov. 16, 1997, at 2; Donald Gonzalez, PNC recibe armas de asalto, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 27, 1997, at 54; Espaa ratifica capacitacion a la PNC, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 25, 1997, at 8; Saldran a la calle 3,200 agentes de la PNC, Prensa Libre, Feb. 18, 1998, at 75. See also, Edin Hernandez, PNC: Despliegue concluira en 1999, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 7, 1998, at 9, (stating that deployment of the new PNC is as follows: May 1998 to Quetzaltenango, with 550 officers; Augusto 1998 to Jutiapa (400 officers), Santa Rosa (330), Izabal (400), and San Marcos (570); November 1998 to Suchitepequez (300) and Chiquimula (380); February 1999 to Zacapa (450), Retalhuleu (390), El Progreso (380) and Jalapa (380); May 1999 to Solola (300) and Chimaltenango (300); August 1999 to Huehuetenango (300), Baja Verapaz (260), and Alta Verapaz (460); November 1999 to Sacatepequez (360) and Totonicapan (300)).
n25. See Carlos Menocal, Gobernacion admite que 'hay PNC corruptos', El Periodico, July 26, 1997, at 6; Julie Lopez and Carlos Ajanel S., Que tipo de policias nos cuida?, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 7, 1997, at 28-29. See generally, Rachel Garst, The New Guatemalan National Civilian Police: A Problematical Beginning, WOLA Briefing Series: The Guatemalan Peace Process, Nov. 1997. Ury Roitman, a former Israeli soldier and now owner of a prominent security firm in Guatemala, has been particularly critical of the new PNC. See Julie Lopez, Hay jefes policiales a quienes el zapato les queda muy grande, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 1, 1997, at 8. According to one article, sixty percent of criminal complaints in the Public Ministry's office of Administrative Crimes are registered against the police itself. See Mayoria de denuncias en MP es contra policias, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 21, 1998, at 6; MP investiga a policias civiles, Prensa Libre, Jan. 29, 1998, at 8.
n26. See Julie Lopez, Seguridad: Un pilar tambaleante de la paz, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 29, 1997, at 3; Policia Nacional: Detenciones ilegales, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 14, 1998, at 4. Former Presidential candidate, Alfonso Portillo (FRG) asserts there has been no real change with police policy, only a change in uniform. See Lucia Dubon, Deploran segundo ao de Gobierno, El Periodico, Jan. 17, 1998, at 4. See also, Delincuentes aprovechan vacio en la Policia Nacional, Prensa Libre, Jan. 30, 1998, at 4 (listing additional complaints about the PNC).
n27. Centro Evangelico Latinoamericano de Estudios Pastorales, Guatemala in Context, 14th Edit., Mar. 1997, at 7 [hereinafter Centro Evangelico]. See also, Mas despidos en Migracion, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 24, 1997, at 5. Compare GV critica desempeo de autoridades de Gobernacion, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 30, 1997, at 3.
n28. See Walter Martin Juarez, Militar evadio al fisco varios millones, El Periodico, Dec. 6, 1997, at 3; Julia Corado, Justicia: Coronel Alvarez detenido por contrabando, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 6, 1997, at 6; Luis Escobar and Walter Martin Juarez, Acusan a Alvarez Artiga de evadir Q100 millones, El Periodico, Dec. 9, 1997, at 4. (Quetzales 6.2 is about US$ 1.00.)
n29. See Narcotics Report, supra note 18, at 134.
n30. See Julia Corado, Justicia penal al borde del colapso, Siglo Veintiuno, June 22, 1997, at 8; Oneida Najarro, Jueces de Paz piden incremento salarial, Prensa Libre, Oct. 18, 1997, at 6 (notes that Congress has approved salary increases: Trial Court judges will receive Q2,500, magistrates Q1,500, court supervisors Q2,000 and secretaries Q1,000.)
n31. See Castro: Me da tristeza que el deporte reciba mas que la justicia, Siglo Veintiuno, June 22, 1997, at 8.
n32. See Oneida Najarro, 43 jueces del area penal amenazan con renunciar, Prensa Libre, June 22, 1997, at 4. Justices of the Peace have also complained to the Court. See Najarro, supra note 30, at 6.
n33. See Narcotics Report, supra note 18, at 136; Pobladores de Ixcan Grande solicitan seguridad, Prensa Libre, Dec. 16, 1997, at 35; Justicia: Poblacion desconfiada y con poca informacion, Prensa Libre, Jan. 25, 1998, at 2.
n34. Marco Tulio Trejo and Alba Trejo, Perez: El 90% de los secuestradores detenidos pertenecio al Ejercito, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 4, 1997, at 3; Nationwide Sweep Nabs 21 Alleged Kidnappers, Siglo News, at Nov. 5, 1997, at 3; Elder Interiano, Fueron militares 19 de 21 detenidos por caso Beverly, Prensa Libre, Nov. 4, 1997, at 3; Tribunal escuchara a hijo de militar presuntamente implicado en secuestro y asesinato de Beverly Sandoval, La Hora, Jan. 16, 1998, at 5.
n35. See Walter Martin Juarez, Seis ex policias seran juzgados por secuestro de menor, El Periodico, Nov. 15, 1997, at 6.
n36. See Julie Lopez, Asalto a bancos y secuestro, delitos con la misma huella, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 30, 1997, at 21-22. The escape of El Negociador is not uncommon in Guatemala. See, e.g., Oneida Najarro, Tres reos peligrosos se fugan de Pavon, Prensa Libre, Oct. 20, 1997, at 55; Tres reos condenados por homicidio escapan de Pavon, Siglo Veintiuno, Oct. 20, 1997, at 2. El Negociador was later recaptured in El Salvador. Victims eventually had the opportunity to present evidence in a public forum. See Walter Martin Juarez, Victimas de secuestro identifican voz de Palacios, El Periodico, Mar. 24, 1998, at 3. Those that helped Palacios escape themselves ended up being subject to oral trial proceedings. See Edwin Palacios, A juicio por fuga de El Negociador, El Periodico, Mar. 24, 1998, at 6.
n37. See Vendedores denuncian robo efectuado por GH, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 5, 1997, at 79.
n38. See Walter Martin Juarez, Una nueva forma de robar carros, El Periodico, Dec. 17, 1997, at 6. Ex-police officers are often cited in articles as now criminals. See, e.g., CC deniega amparo a ex policia, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 17, 1998, at 2.
n39. Former military on both sides of the conflict have been implicated. See Carlos Arrazola, Desmovilizados forman bandas de delincuentes, El Periodico, Nov. 26, 1997, at 6 (discussing how former guerrillas now participate in gangs of criminals). See also Edin Hernandez, Asaltantes capturados son ex PMA, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 27, 1997, at 2; Donald Gonzalez, Siguen asaltos a bancos, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 29, 1997, at 55; Edin Hernandez, Ex guerrilleros presuntos asaltantes, Siglo Veintiuno, Nov. 26, 1997, at 2; Luis Escobar, Detienen a dos militares con cocaina, El Periodico, Jan. 4, 1998, at 1; Fiscalia investiga vinculacion de militares con narcotrafico, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 13, 1998, at 4; Acusan al Ejercito de ofrecer sobornos en caso Xaman, Prensa Libre, Feb. 13, 1998, at 4; Julia Corado, Condenan a 30 aos de prision a ex patrullero, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 4, 1998, at 2; Elder Interiano, EMP sera sometido a investigacion, Prensa Libre, Feb. 4, 1998, at 2. Contra: Former military police officers have tried to emphasize that it is a small minority of former officials that are corrupt. Most dedicated themselves to upholding the law, according to that group. Donald Gonzalez, Ex PMA: Niegan vinculos criminales, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 2, 1997, at 55. The perception of high levels of corruption leads to calls for major shake-ups in the justice sector. See, e.g. Editorial: Urge depurar el sistema de justicia, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 16, 1997, at 10.
n40. Miguel Ignacio Acabal, Sugieren capacitacion de jueces y fiscales para agilizar la justicia, Prensa Libre, Nov. 3, 1997, at 20. Supreme Court President Angel Alfredo Figueroa takes strong exception to these views. He notes that Courts cannot hold suspects unless there is evidence. See Figueroa: jueces no protegen a delincuentes, Prensa Libre, Jan. 30, 1998, at 20. The public is growing uneasy about criminals who do not serve out their entire sentences, but instead are released early. See, e.g., Carlos Castaaza and Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Justicia: Las sentencias que pocos cumplen, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 5, 1998, at 3.
n41. See infra note 79, at IV-6.
n42. See Development Associates, Inc., Indicators of Political Values in Quetzaltenango: Democratic Attitudes and Participation vii (Oct. 1997)(draft report, on file with the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas).
n43. Guatemaltecos se sienten desprotegidos ante ola de violencia, segun encuesta de GV, Prensa Libre, June 9, 1997, at 4.
n44. Eduardo Weymann, Guatemala: capital mundial del secuestro, El Periodico, Dec. 12, 1997, at 12.
n45. See, e.g., Juanita Darling, Attack on Americans puts Guatemalan justice in spotlight, Atlanta J.-Const., Apr. 25, 1998, at A5.
n46. See, e.g., Juez denuncia amenazas de muerte, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 15, 1998, at 6; Oneida Najaro & Raul Matias, Envian bomba a jueza, Prensa Libre, Feb. 13, 1999, at 6; Julia Corado, CSJ solicita seguridad para jueces, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 13, 1999; Manolo Acabal, PNC protege a jueces amenazados, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 14, 1999.
n47. See Juez Labbe pide traslado por supuestas amenazas, Prensa Libre, June 17, 1997, at 6.
n48. See Oneida Najarro, La CSJ destituye al juez Olegario Labbe, Prensa Libre, June 21, 1997, at 3; Julia Corado, Corte Suprema de Justicia destituye a juez de Quiche, Siglo Veintiuno, at June 21, 1997, at 6.
n49. See Proteger a testigos puede costar al MP Q10 millones anuales, Siglo Veintiuno, Oct. 11, 1997, at 4; Proteccion a testigos Ley muerta?, Prensa Libre, Oct. 10, 1997, at 2. The need for protection is great. See, e.g., Asesinan a testigo de juicio contra tres policias sentenciados a muerte, Siglo Veintiuno, Oct. 9, 1997, at 2; Miguel Ignacio Acabal, Falta de fondos paraliza proteccion a testigos, Prensa Libre, Feb. 14, 1998, at 2; Denuncian falta de ayuda a sobreviviente de masacre, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 13, 1998, at 75; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Caso Xaman: Acusan de chantaje a la MINUGUA, Siglo Veintiuno, March 10, 1998, at 6; see also Piden proteccion de testigos, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 13, 1999, at 2.
n50. See, e.g., Amenazan a testigo de caso Moreno, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 1, 1997, at 6; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis, Testigos: Cuando el miedo no deja hablar, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 4, 1998, at 3; Walter Martin Juarez, Fiscal denuncia a Medrano por amenazas, El Periodico, Feb. 12, 1998, at 2; Sobreviviente de masacre esta protegido por el Gobierno, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 12, 1998, at 2; Carlos Ajanel Soberanis & Carlos Castaaza Rosales, Para silenciar a los inocentes, Siglo Veintiuno, Apr. 1, 1998, at 3.
n51. See, e.g., Julio Revolorio and Ricardo Miranda, Amenazan a victimas de secuestro, El Periodico, Nov. 14, 1997, at 3; Ramon Hernandez, MP denuncia amenazas del cartel Luciano para evitar juicio este viernes en Amatitlan, Prensa Libre, Jan. 7, 1998, at 4; Amenazan de muerta a testigos del caso El Canguro, El Periodico, Jan. 25, 1998, at 1; Testigos seran conducidos por la Policia, El Periodico, Jan. 30, 1998, at 7; Marco Tulio Trejo & Rodolfo Zelada, Proteccion a testigos: El dilema de colaborar con la justicia, Siglo Veintiuno, June 19, 1998, at 3; Marco Tulio Trejo & Rodolfo Absalom Flores, Oficina aun no existe: Valladares de la proteccion a testigos, Siglo Veintiuno, June 20, 1998, at 3.
n52. See Luis Eduardo de Leon, Justicia: Guatemala, el pais de las eternas amenazas, Cronica, Oct. 24, 1997, at 24; Ramon Hernandez, MP denuncia amenazas del cartel Luciano para evitar juicio este viernes en Amatitlan, Prensa Libre, Jan. 7, 1998, at 4; Fiscales desunidos en su lucha por seguridad, El Periodico, June 16, 1998, at 5. The situation has gotten to the point where prosecutors, in some instances, are asking for "danger pay." See, e.g., Fiscal del caso Beverly quiere bono de riesgo, El Periodico, June 19, 1998, at 5.
n53. See Rolando Antonio Castillo Lopez, Fiscales reununciaran en bloque, Prensa Libre, May 23, 1998, at 2; Francisco Mauricio Martinez, Fiscales seran protegidos, Prensa Libre, May 24, 1998, at 4; Mario Ramos, Dos capturados por asesinato de fiscal, El Periodico, May 26, 1998, at 6; Marco Tulio Trejo, Gonzalez Rodas: PNC dara proteccion a los fiscales, Siglo Veintiuno, May 24, 1998, at 6; Edwin Palacios, Se preve desbandada de fiscales del MP, El Periodico, June 8, 1998, at 7; Edwin Palacios, MP contratara a policias privados, El Periodico, June 9, 1998, at 4. Prosecutor Fernando Mendizabal, chief of the office of special cases, and lead prosecutor in the Los Pasaco, El Canguro, Beverly Sandoval and Alfredo Moreno cases, is resigning due to security and other issues. See Editorial: Cuando el fiscal prefiere retirarse, Siglo Veintiuno, June 10, 1998, at 14; Marco Tulio Trejo, Mendizabal se acogera al retiro voluntario, Siglo Veintiuno, June 10, 1998, at 2. The Public Ministry has discussed getting private security and life insurance for prosecutors. See, e.g., Proteccion y seguro de vida para los fiscales, Siglo Veintiuno, June 19, 1998, at 8.
n54. See Leonel Arana Paredes, Justicia: Inseguridad contra la paz, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 10, 1997, at 5.
n55. See Lucy Barrios de Mendez, Mendoza y Balconi niegan que el EMP participe en comando antisecuestros, Siglo Veintiuno, June 12, 1997, at 3. The Comision de Esclarecimiento Historico (Commission for Historical Verification) created under the Peace Accords, is tasked with reviewing and reporting on human rights abuses during the war (prior to December 1996). See Amplian plazo para entregar informe de CEH, Siglo Veintiuno, May 2, 1998, at 6.
n56. See Mendez, supra note 55, at 3.
n57. See Asturias y sus abogados se reunen para planificar su posible defensa, Siglo Veintiuno, Sept. 9, 1997, at 3.
n58. See Gobierno contempla solicitar revision del papel de Minugua, Prensa Libre, Oct. 8, 1997, at 6; Edward Hegstrom, U.N. official in Guatemala draws fire from right, left, Miami Herald, May 17, 1997, at 20A. Other criticisms have been leveled at MINUGUA regarding MINUGUA's public opinions on the Estado Mayor Presidencial, EMP. See, e.g., Rafael Amado Deras and Myriam Larra, Gobierno reclama errores a Minugua, Prensa Libre, Oct. 18, 1997, at 3; Edin Hernandez, Gobierno pide a MINUGUA aclarar fundamentos juridicos del informe, Siglo Veintiuno, Oct. 18, 1997, at 3. More recently, MINUGUA has been attacked for over- stepping its role as human rights observer. See, e.g., Oneida Najarro, OJ: MINUGUA debe atender verificacion, Prensa Libre, May 24, 1998, at 7; Conflicto bananero: Piden que cese intromision de MINUGUA, Siglo Veintiuno, May 24, 1998, at 6.
n59. See Martha Brant & Brook Larmer, The Death of a Bishop, Newsweek, May 11, 1998, at 10, 11; Ochaeta: Vielman es inocente, Siglo Veintiuno, May 2, 1998, at 6; Walter Martin Juarez, Dudas sobre implicacion de sospechoso en el caso Gerardi, El Periodico, June 9, 1998, at 3.
n60. See Acusan a ex alcalde de haber matado a Yat Zapeta, Siglo Veintiuno, May 8, 1998, at 4; Lucy Barrios, Alcaldes piden seguridad para ejercer funciones, Prensa Libre, May 16, 1998, at 4.
n61. For example, on October 4, 1997, Luis Palencia, a homosexual, alias Maria Conchita, was shot by an unknown assassin. See Miedo entre la comunidad homosexual, El Periodico, Nov. 16, 1997, at 8; Guillermo Mendoza, Se compraran 216 millones de municiones, El Periodico, Nov. 18, 1997, at 3. Homosexual groups continue to receive death threats. See Abner Guoz, Quien protege a los homosexuales?, El Periodico, Nov. 18, 1997, at 2.
n62. See Olga Lopez Ovando, Human Rights Watch seala abusos contra menores, Prensa Libre, Oct. 21, 1997, at 28.
n63. See Donald Gonzalez, Fuerzas combinandas: Iniciaron operativo en Izabal, Siglo Veintiuno, Jan. 18, 1998, at 47.
n64. See Oneida Najarro and Giovanni Bautista, CSJ denuncia intromision del Organismo Ejecutivo, Prensa Libre, June 9, 1997, at 3.
n65. See Perez Aguilera: No pueden culpar solo a fiscales por deficiencias en la justicia, Prensa Libre, Oct. 27, 1997, at 4.
n66. See Garst, supra note 25, at 5.
n67. See Edgar Leonel Arana Paredes, La carta del fiscal despierta atencion de los diputados, Siglo Veintiuno, June 17, 1997, at 6.
n68. See Editorial: El Congreso se une al clamor por una seguridad efectiva, Prensa Libre, Jan. 21, 1998, at 10. Similarly, President Arzu has asked Interior Minister Rodolfo Mendoza to come up with a new security plan. See Abner Guoz, Arzu pide a Mendoza nuevo plan de seguridad, El Periodico, Jan. 22, 1998, at 4; Myriam Larra and Pavel Arellano, De show califican plan de seguridad, Prensa Libre, Jan. 24, 1998, at 2; Abner Guoz, Gobierno presenta plan de seguridad, El Periodico, Feb. 7, 1998, at 3.
n69. See Letter from the President to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Committees on Appropriations and International Relations and the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations (Dec. 2, 1996) printed in Narcotics Report, supra note 18, at vii. U.S. Ambassador Donald Planty has pledged continued support for Guatemala's war on drugs. See Ramon Hernandez S., Planty llama a unir esfuerzos en guerra contra narcotrafico, Prensa Libre, Jan. 16, 1998, at 8. In 1998, narcotics continued to be a major problem in Guatemala. See Ramon Hernandez S., Ruta maritima del Pacifico a merced de los narcos, Prensa Libre, Feb. 15, 1998, at 4; Departamento de Estado: En Guatemala se trafica efedrina, Siglo Veintiuno, Feb. 12, 1998, at 4. Still, Guatemala received full certification for 1997, due to its strong eradication and interdiction programs and law enforcement efforts against narcotics traffickers. See Memorandum from Drew Oltyan and Debbie Bedford of the State Department Anti-narcotics Office (NAS) 1 (May 5, 1998) (on file with the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas).
n70. See Narcotics Report, supra note 18, at 132.
n71. See id. at xx. Quetzaltenango also has problems with drug traffickers. See, e.g., Ramon Hernandez, A luz trafico de drogas en Xela, Prensa Libre, Mar. 18, 1998, at 91.
n72. See Jennifer Bauduy, Kidnapping: a legacy of war, haunts nation in peace, Siglo News, Dec. 10, 1997, at 4 (noting that President Arzu believes the level of national violence has been exaggerated by the press in a drive to sell newspapers). Other factors influencing people's perception of the level of crime may include: (1) new found freedom of the press to report crime - previously the press may have felt pressure from government to avoid reporting crime which could have been considered a criticism of the government; (2) as public perceptions change for the positive, they may be more included to report crime that previously went unreported, making the statistics appear worse; and (3) the police may be doing a more effective job in recording criminal activity, again resulting in increased statistical occurrence of crime, without necessarily changing actual crime levels. Other factors which may indicate the crime explosion is real include: (1) similar phenomena in other post-war societies like El Salvador and South Africa; (2) a demographic explosion of youth in prime crime years, ages 16 to 28; and (3) that statistics and public opinion agree that crime is in fact increasing. Otilia Lux de Cojti claims that victims are still reluctant to report human rights abuses that occurred in the past two decades to the Comision de Esclarecimiento Historico. See Persiste temor para denunciar violaciones a Derechos Humanos, Prensa Libre, Nov. 5, 1997, at 19 (suggesting that if Lux is correct, this may indicate at least the potential for under-reporting of other criminal activity).
n73. See Segundo lugar en criminalidad, Siglo Veintiuno, Dec. 11, 1997, at 3 (reporting the results of a study by Raul Zepeda entitled "Violencia y Seguridad Ciudadana." According to the article, Guatemala had 49 homicides in 1996 per 100 thousand population. Colombia was in first place with 89 per 100 thousand population. Following Guatemala in the list were Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, each with rates of less than 20 per 100 thousand. The worst cities in Guatemala were Escuintla (16.5 per ten thousand), Isabal (12.7 per ten thousand), Jutiapa (11.4 per ten thousand), Santa Rosa (11.1 per ten thousand) and the Capital (10.1 per ten thousand)). As a point of comparison, the murder rate in the United States was 7.4 per 100 thousand in 1996. See The World Almanac and Book of Facts: 1998, at 959 (World Almanac Books, 1997); Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press, Murder rate lowest since 1969, Detroit News (Oct. 5, 1997)