The Forced Exile

Juan Francisco Sandoval*

Versión en español aquí.

On March 5, 2003, I joined Guatemala’s Public Prosecutor’s Office as an intern, as part of my mandatory criminal practice, during my undergraduate studies in legal and social sciences at the State University of San Carlos, Guatemala (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala). I never imagined that this initial internshipwould turn into a love for the defense of truth and justice, and that I would later participate in the prosecution and trial of three Guatemalan presidents, a vice president, dozens of legislators, state ministers, magistrates,and judges. All of these officials, and in turn cases, shared the common characteristic of having served as part of illicit political and economic networks that sought to generate impunity for their crimes.

The opportunity to work in public service allowed me to bring a little hope to the people of Guatemala who –like the majority of Latin American countries– have been destined to a history and  life of eternal resistance in the face of injustice.

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The Root of the Problem: Our Recommendations to the Biden Administration for Tackling Corruption in Central America’s Northern Triangle

Ursula Indacochea* and Katharine Valencia**

Versión en español aquí.

President Joe Biden’s Administration has been very clear that one of its top priorities is addressing the massive migration of people to the United States, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Biden has opted to distance himself from the human rights-violating policies and the hostile and criminalizing narrative of his predecessor in office, Donald Trump; and instead, has promised a humanitarian approach and effective measures to attack the real underlying problems: insecurity, hopelessness and lack of opportunities and welfare in the countries of origin, which force people to migrate. 

This “root causes strategy” is being constructed with the involvement of several agencies, and rests on a sound premise: the need to understand the structural nature of the causes of migration, and that these causes cannot be resolved either in the short term or solely with the transfer of financial resources to governments. Where to begin, then, in addressing these issues?

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