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Guatemala Overview

forensic experts identifying human remains
PBF project “Support to the consolidation of the right to truth, justice and reparations”: Thanks to DNA technology and the implementation of a Multidisciplinary Human Identification System, the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala –FAFG – identified 117 people, including 53 victims of enforced disappearance during the internal armed conflict in 2013. UNDP with PBF support, supports the FAFG and facilitates its coordination with a wide range of other entities, such as the Public Prosecutors Office and local victims’ organizations. Photo Credit: Caroline Trutmann

The Secretary-General declared Guatemala eligible to access the Peacebuilding Fund in 2011 in order to build capacity to implement aspects of the 1996 peace agreement that had never been fully implemented, in particular in areas around the rule of law. The presence of CICIG (Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala) reflected the United Nations commitment to supporting peacebuilding in Guatemala, and the PBF financing of activities of the UN Country Team was seen as a way to buttress CICIG’s work through capacity building of national institutions. The Guatemala Peacebuilding Priority Plan is coming to an end in December 2015 and an independent evaluation on the implementation of such Plan will take place in October/November 2015. In light of recent events involving high impact corruption cases, PBSO is exploring how it can provide small but rapid additional institution building support of specialised units of the General Prosecutor’s Office as well as for the strengthening of civil society’s monitoring and auditing of policy reform processes.

 Total funding support in US$: $ 11 million

  • PRF: Guatemala Peacebuilding Priority Plan 2011-2015 ($ 10 million)
  • IRF/Gender Promotion Initiative: Asserting the Rights of Women Survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Guatemala 2014-2016 ($ 1 million)

 Focus of PBF support:

The Peacebuliding Priority Plan designed by the Joint Steering Committee (see below) covers the following areas:

  • Justice, including transitional justice, built around CICIG’s work with the Attorney General (capacity building) as well as civil society;
  • Security Sector Reform focusing on Police Reform, working with the Ministry of Interior and NGO’s; and
  • Empowerment of women, working with the NGOs specialized in the justice and security areas.
Project name/ ID Focus Period Budget RUNOs
PBF/IRF-80: 1385 – Asserting the Rights of Women Survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Guatemala Support to legal and policy reforms to advance women’s political participation, to strengthen the capacities of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Human Rights Office and civil society concerning the judicial and psychosocial reparation of survivors of sexual violence during and after the internal armed conflict, as well as to strengthen local initiatives to prevent violence against women. 2014-2016 $ 1,000,000 UNDPUNFPAUN Women
PBF/GTM/B-3 Institutional Strengthening of Ministry of Interior to ensure safety and promote a culture of peace Support the Ministry of Interior in the development of initiatives to ensure the safety, promote a culture of peace and contribute to lower the structural causes that affect the generation of violence, crime and conflict, through policy advocacy and development of technical, organizational and technological capacities. 2013-2015 $ 5,660,768 UNDPUNESCOUNFPAUNODCUN Women 
PBF/GTM/B-1: Strengthening of National Capacities for Criminal Investigations Support the strengthening of criminal investigations capacities, including of the General Prosecutor’s Office 2011-2015 $ 2,379,231 UNDPUNODCUN Women

 Overview of PBF support and results:

With support from the PBF and other key partners, Guatemala’s General Prosecutor’s Office has achieved a paradigm shift in criminal investigation: its former methodology based on “case by case” approach has been replaced by a strategic criminal prosecution model for the dismantling of large-scale criminal networks. The new approach has increased the Office’s effectiveness in high-impact criminal investigations. Specifically, recent anti-corruption cases pursued in cooperation with the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), have led to arrest warrants against senior executive officials and to the resignation of the President, Vice President and several ministers. The resulting political crisis is awakening a social movement demanding structural reforms to strengthen the Rule of Law, reforms pending since the signing of the Peace Agreements.

In 2014, the Peacebuilding Fund continued supporting rule of law, the fight against impunity and citizen security. To address citizen confidence in institutions, the Fund has been supporting the creation of a Technological Information Platform within the Ministry of the Interior. The Platform enables instantaneous police background checks on individuals and vehicles using a range of rapid information technologies such as laptops and cell phones, integrating diverse forms of personal data and making it possible to swiftly obtain information critical for criminal investigations. These efforts also supported the set-up of a Situation Room, which, through the use of a Video-Wall, allows for the monitoring of real-time locations and frequencies of criminal events, becoming an essential tool for mapping areas of high insecurity and for gathering information that will inform security policies. In addition, support provided by the Fund to the Ministry of Security and Ministry of the Interior made it possible to include prevention of violence against women and young people among the substantive components of the National Violence Prevention Policy.

In 2015, the PBF continued supporting the strengthening of criminal investigative capacities through the set-up of the General Direction of Criminal Investigation (DIGICRI in Spanish) within the Ministry of the Interior and under the coordination of the General Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, in 2015 the Fund supported the establishment of a monitoring system to measure the impact of the Information Technology Platform for decision-making on public security policies. Data now shows that waiting time for the delivery of police records, which was more than 4 hours before the set-up of the Platform, has been reduced to 20 minutes. Similarly, requests for police records increased by 40% and response to emergency telephone calls increased from 35,000 to 50,000 in 2013, before the establishment of the platform, and 2015 respectively.

With support from the PBF’s Gender Promotion Initiative (GPI) the largest and most diverse network in the country, the Women’s Forum, was reactivated and signed an agreement with the National Peace Accords Council (CNAP in Spanish) to strengthen women’s role in monitoring compliance with the peace accords.

In Guatemala, the PBF Joint Steering Committee (JSC) is co-chaired by the Minister of the Interior and the UN Resident Coordinator and has a two-level representation:

(i)                  the Executive Committee integrated by the Minister of the Interior, the UN Resident Coordinator, a high level representative of the General Prosecutor’s Office, UNDP, OHCHR and UN Women. In addition, the CICIG Commissioner and one representative from development partners participate as observers.

(ii)                A technical committee integrated by representatives at the technical level of the Ministry of the Interior, General Prosecutor’s Office, CICIG, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, OHCHR, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNODC and UN Women.

KEY RESULT: In partnership with other efforts, PBF support to peacebuilding in Guatemala contributed to a paradigm shift in criminal investigation from a “case by case” approach to a strategic criminal prosecution model for the dismantling of large-scale criminal networks led by the General Prosecutor’s Office and implemented by a range of Justice and Security actors.

Key documents:

pdf Download Guatemala Priority Plan

Updated October 2015

Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site

Key Figures

Participating Organizations' 2011 expenditure reports are not yet posted. Expected 30 April of 2012, subject to timely reporting.

Participating Organizations


Key Figures
  • Budget:
  • Transfers:
  • Expenditures:
  • $3.92 m
  • $3.92 m
  • $0 m

Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site