Q: What would conviction of Ríos Montt mean for the Guatemalan justice system?
A: If there is a verdict of conviction in these cases, as in other instances of particularly violent crimes against life, gender violence or particularly costly crimes like corruption, it sends a signal to society that these things cannot be done, and if they are, there will be consequences in the context of the rule of law, in other words a conviction.
The rule of law is the same for all. It does not matter who the victim is or who the perpetrator, a crime must be punished. Perhaps the only consideration is the gravity of the crime, in making its investigation and punishment a priority.
And in this case, as in others, when we are talking about someone who was head of state, the message of equality before the law is strengthened.
Q: What is your assessment of CICIG’s work?
A: In terms of its work with the public prosecutor’s office, the most important aspect has been the transfer of capabilities in joint cases as well as the strengthening of the crime analysis unit, the financial analysis unit, the department of security and the office of witness protection.
As for the country, it has done away with the sense that the judicial branch was not up to solving certain types of case. CICIG has demonstrated that extremely complex cases can be cleared up with scientific evidence and within the context of the rule of law.
Q: How far will you be able to progress with the fight against impunity during your term of office?
A: The best and most important legacy we can leave is a strategic working method that on the one hand reduces impunity because crimes are cleared up and criminals are punished, while on the other it prevents further crimes being committed.Meanwhile, President Perez is in New York continuing his quest to get the international community behind his proposal to decriminalize illegal drugs.