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Secretariat against Corruption inaugurated in Guatemala

Guatemala, July 9, 2020. Guatemala assumed the presidency of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption for the period 2018-2019.
In this sense, María Consuelo Porras Argueta, Attorney General of the country, presided over the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption -UNCAC- held in December 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she reaffirmed her commitment to the fight against corruption and impunity, through the creation of the Secretariat against Corruption of the Public Prosecutor's Office, as well as through the signing of several inter-institutional cooperation agreements to combat this crime.

This Secretariat was launched as part of the commemoration of the 26th anniversary of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
This secretariat -which will report directly to the office of the Attorney General and Head of the Public Prosecutor's Office- was created by means of Attorney General Agreement 19-2020, which states that "it is the administrative unit responsible for articulating institutional actions for the application of processes for the implementation of national norms in the fight against corruption, as well as promoting processes within fiscal, technical and administrative management that facilitate the application of national and international norms and foster a culture of rejection of corruption.
Estuardo Lopez y Lopez, who will be in charge of the secretariat, participated in the presentation event and reiterated his "commitment, through the actions implemented by the Secretariat against Corruption, to contribute to the fight against corruption and impunity".
Miwa Kato, Director of Operations of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, also took part in the virtual event and congratulated the Attorney General and Head of Public Prosecutions María Consuelo Porras, who successfully chaired the tenth session of the United Nations Convention against Corruption Implementation Review Group last year in Vienna.
"The fight against corruption, with a special focus on the prevention of corruption as defined in the UN Convention against Corruption, is a vital component of the international community's collective efforts to promote peace and security, human rights and sustainable development," Kato said.
For the Director of Operations of UNODC "the recently created Anti-Corruption Secretariat marks a milestone in the fight against corruption in Guatemala and demonstrates Guatemala's commitment to the Convention. Guatemala is certainly an outstanding example for Member States and we are honoured and pleased to accompany it on this important day".
For her part, the Attorney General said that "the commitment to fight corruption and impunity has been translated into concrete actions, including the work already being carried out as a result of the Cooperation Agreement for Good Governance, as well as the Inter-institutional Anti-Corruption Cooperation Agreement promoted by the Executive Branch".
The official programme for the inauguration of the secretariat closed with a speech by the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammatei, who said that "the fight against corruption is a state struggle, which we have taken on with responsibility since 14 January, the day we took office, as soon as we signed that agreement against corruption and good governance that same day".

Some of the main functions of the Secretariat against Corruption are

  • To propose institutional policies aimed at the fight against corruption and the system of institutional integrity.
  • To coordinate the implementation of measures derived from national and international standards, in the area of transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms.
  • Promote actions that encourage due performance in the actions of the institution's workers.
  • Facilitate technological tools for reporting acts of corruption and promote the protection of whistleblowers.
  • Study and evaluate the actions of investigation and criminal prosecution of corruption, money laundering and extinction of ownership.
  • Articulate actions to achieve maximum transparency and accountability in all the offices of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
  • Promote an environment free of acts of corruption and provide support to workers who report corruption within the institution.
  • This secretary will be in charge of representing the Public Prosecutor's Office in the different inter-institutional commissions.