More than £8,000 (Q95,000) has been invested by the UK in criminal enforcement training and technical assistance for judges, prosecutors, magistrates, private sector, and civil society organisations of Guatemala.
The training consisted of seminars and roundtables with international experts John McKendrick and Nino Vaprio. John McKendrick is a British private lawyer that specialises in transparency issues and regularly acts for Her Majesty’s Government before the UK courts. Nino Vaprio is a Panamanian international expert on security issues that works as and advisor for the Government of Panama.
This project, a partnership between the UK and the Guatemalan governments, addressed broad issues of financial crime as well as focused discussions on issues of specific interest to Guatemala, such as contraband, money laundering and cybercrime. A case study of the UK Bribery Act also provided attendees with Britain’s views on how to enforce transparency rules across different sectors.
The events were attended by more than 250 people including representatives from the Supreme Court of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office for Financial Crimes, the Presidential Commission for Transparency and Electronic Government (COPRET), the National Police, the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry, British businesses in country, Transparency International chapter for Guatemala, and academia.
The attendees discussed crucial measures, including developing national anti-financial crime strategies, fostering domestic and regional coordination, developing mechanisms that strive for a safer, stronger Internet for citizens, and how to implement international agreements on transparency.
To mark this one-of-a-kind project, the British Ambassador to Guatemala, Sarah Dickson said:
“As free trade grows, businesses and the financial systems expand throughout Central America; nations are grappling with financial threats ranging from contraband and bribery to cybercrime. We want to help the Guatemalan authorities and civil society to address these issues, by sharing our experience and international best practices. This project reflects our priorities of supporting the Guatemalan Justice System and boosting transparent and ethical businesses amongst our countries”.