Comparative Politics

Containing Large-Scale Criminal Violence through Internationalized Prosecution: How the CICIG Contributed to the Reduction of Guatemala's Murder Rate

Guillermo Trejo University of Notre Dame
,

Abstract

This article explores whether and how internationalized prosecution contributes to the reduction of criminal violence. Internationalized prosecution is a strategy of cooperation between international organizations and domestic institutions to investigate and prosecute state security agents and criminals who collude to dominate illicit markets. We focus on the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN-backed institution in which international investigators collaborated with Guatemala’s public prosecutors and the police to dismantle criminal structures that emerged during the country’s civil war. Results from a Synthetic Control Model show that had Guatemala not adopted the CICIG in 2008, the country’s homicide rate would have doubled in 2016. Substantively, the CICIG contributed to prevent over 18,000 murders. We argue that the training and protection the CICIG provided to Guatemalan prosecutors empowered them to reduce murder rates by preventing murder-for-hire operations, reducing criminal competition, deterring state-criminal collusion, restricting iron-fist policies, and discouraging private violence.

Content

Thumbnail image of Trejo & NietoMatiz - CICIG and criminal violence.pdf
cloud_download

Comments

Log in or register with APSA to comment open_in_new
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy open_in_new – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here open_in_new .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy open_in_new and Terms of Service open_in_new apply.