Canada Regrets Resignation of UN’s Guatemala Impunity Commission Head

(No. 184 – June 9, 2010 – 7:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today expressed regret over the resignation of Carlos Castresana as commissioner of the UN’s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

“It is with great regret that I have learned of Carlos Castresana’s resignation as commissioner of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala,” said Minister of State Kent. “As a strong supporter of CICIG since the Commission’s creation, Canada commends Commissioner Castresana for the exceptional courage and leadership he demonstrated during his tenure.

“The Commission has an essential role to play in helping Guatemala address issues of impunity and corruption. Despite a challenging environment, the Commission has achieved notable advances since its inception.

“The Commission’s important work greatly benefits the Guatemalan people; therefore, it is essential that CICIG carry out its mandate effectively. Canada will continue to strongly support the Commission, and we encourage the Government of Guatemala to vigorously support Mr. Castresana’s successor.”

CICIG was established in September 2007 at the request of the Government of Guatemala, with a mandate to investigate and prosecute members of criminal organizations. The Commission also aims to help Guatemala address its challenges in the areas of security and justice by strengthening its judicial frameworks and institutions.

Canada has provided $6.5 million to CICIG since 2008, through the Canadian International Development Agency.

For more information, please see Project profile for Institutional Support to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Meredith McDonald
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-944-7013

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874