Washington, DC - Today in Guatemala City, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom unveiled new U.S. support for anticorruption efforts in a meeting with UNDP Resident Representative Valerie Julliand and the staff of the United Nation’s International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Deputy Secretary Higginbottom announced an additional commitment by the United States of $5 million to CICIG, to which the United States is the largest single contributor.
Since 2008 the United States has invested more than $36 million in the historic and important work of CICIG, whose purpose is to end the pervasive corruption that has existed in Guatemala. CICIG’s work has produced real results, proven that no one is immune from the law, and has included successful indictments and prosecutions of individuals at the highest levels.
CICIG is important to the people of Guatemala, the region, and the United States. To the citizens of Guatemala, CICIG has had a major impact as it has helped end rackets that have sapped the State of both the resources and the credibility to lead the nation, and of its ability to effectively promote the rule of law. The success and stability of Guatemala is of great significance to the region as it is the most populous nation in Central America and a major economic driver for its neighbors. The United States has a fundamental interest in the spread of stability, prosperity, and the rule of law. Today more than a million individuals of Guatemalan origin live in the United States, with over $10 billion in trade taking place between our two nations each year.
Today’s new commitment announced by Deputy Secretary Higginbottom reaffirms the support by the United States for CICIG and its mission. The people of Guatemala have suffered enough from greed, corruption, and fraud, and deserve a clean, capable, trustworthy and responsible government. CICIG’s unprecedented work is helping achieve that outcome. This continuing investment by the United States in CICIG reflects our belief that it will continue to fortify Guatemala’s institutions, and remain an essential catalyst of reform as Guatemala continues its transition to increasingly open and responsible governance.