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From March 24 to 26, 2015, the Organization of American States, through the Working Group on Cyber-Crime of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers of Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), together with the United States Department of Justice, through its Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and its Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), held a Regional Cyber-Crime Workshop for Magistrates and Judges in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The Workshop, which provided training to more than 70 representatives from Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, was made possible thanks to the collaboration of and support provided by the Judicial Branch of Guatemala, and in particular, by the President of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch, the President of the Criminal Chamber, and by the Director of the School of Judicial Studies of the Judicial Branch.

The event was inaugurated by Magistrate Josué Felipe Baquiax, President of the Supreme Court and of the Judicial Branch, who expressed his satisfaction with the holding of the event and noted the intention of the Judicial Branch to provide ongoing training to its personnel.  In a similar sense, Magistrate Blanca Aida Stalling, President of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, pointed out the importance of the event as well as her expectation that it would have a significant impact in terms of the strengthening of legal systems and the fight against cyber-crimes.


Following the inauguration, Day 1 of the substantive training began with a moderated discussion in which participants exchanged experiences related to actual cyber-crime cases in their respective jurisdictions, including the particular challenges that are inherent in the prosecutions of cyber-offenses. Training was also provided on, among others, the various forms of crimes that can be committed via the internet; tools that can be used to assist cyber-crime investigations and prosecutions; an analysis of actual cyber-crime cases. Participants were also informed of the concrete progress and developments that have taken place in this arena within the framework of the Organization of American States, and particularly through the REMJA Working Group on Cyber-Crime, as well as of the resources and tools available in this area on the OAS Inter-American Cooperation Portal on Cyber-Crime.

Day 2 of the Workshop focused on the sources of, handling and utility of digital evidence; lessons learned from real-life cyber-crime cases; the need for international cooperation and mechanisms in this regard; and the need for countries to adopt adequate substantive and procedural legislation in the area of cyber-crime.

Day 3 of the Workshop began with a discussion surrounding the ongoing debate between the right to privacy and the need for investigators and prosecutors to have access to data contained in modern devices, in order for them to adequately investigate, prosecute and sanction cyber-crimes. In addition, a simulated oral proceeding in a criminal trial was also held prior to the conclusion of the event, also patterned on real-life situations, and demonstrating the manner in which the various aspects examined during the three-day workshop play out in criminal proceedings.


This event in Guatemala marks the second training course directed to judges and magistrates of the Americas by the OAS Cyber-Crime Training Program, under the auspices of the REMJA and its Working Group on Cyber-Crime. Similar regional events are scheduled to take place during 2015 for OAS Member States from the Andean Region, Brazil and the Caribbean, respectively.



For more information visit the Inter-American Cooperation Portal on Cyber-Crime.

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