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Guatemala congress establishes body to investigate organized crime

[JURIST] The Congress of Guatemala [official website, in Spanish] voted to create the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) Wednesday, establishing an independent body [press release, in Spanish] to investigate organized crime and official corruption. The CICIG, which will be funded by voluntary international contributions, will be given independent authority to investigate local Guatemalan institutions. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website], who will appoint the CICIG's commissioner, praised the move [statement; UN News report] as a "clear message" to both the Guatemalan people and the international community that Guatemala is "committed to fight crime and impunity, and to provide security for its citizens." The United States, Sweden, Norway, and Spain have offered to contribute to the CICIG.

Guatemala [JURIST news archive] is a major transit and staging area for narcotics [CIA backgrounder] originating from Colombia destined for the United States through Mexico. AP has more.

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