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Guatemala's president surprises critics by renewing UN commission on impunity

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Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

(Read caption) Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina speaks in a news conference after a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield, in the Presidential House of Guatemala City on March 27, 2012.

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• A version of this post ran on the author's site, Insightcrime.com. The views expressed are the author's own.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has begun the process of renewing the mandate of a valuable United Nations-backed anti-impunity organization, easing fears about his commitment to judicial reform in the country.

President Perez made good on his promise to support the two-year renewal of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) yesterday, meeting with CICIG head Francisco Dall’Anese in the presidential palace in order to outline the renewal process (link in Spanish). According to Perez, renewing the mandate isn’t very complicated, and only consists of exchanging a few letters with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The CICIG’s current mandate expires in September 2013, but the renewal will add two more years to this deadline. Apart from the extension, Perez told local press that the administration will develop a “road map” of the Commission’s objectives for the next several years, which will be presented to the countries funding the project.

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