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Press Release


  May 5, 2003

Guatemala’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, Ambassador Víctor Hugo Godoy, today deposited his governments ratification instruments relating to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

During a brief ceremony at OAS Headquarters, the Ambassador stated that by ratifying the treaty Guatemala—the tenth member state to do so thus far—was upholding its responsibility to strengthen solidarity and mutual assistance among member states to keep crime in check. “Guatemala feels that efforts must be pooled to ensure international justice prevails in relations and integral development is attained for our citizens.”

He observed that “threats from scourges like drug trafficking, terrorism, organized crime and corruption taking on international dimensions undermine not only the foundations of our states but also democratic and harmonious coexistence, to the detriment of our societies’ well-being.”

Receiving the ratification documents, OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi told the Ambassador that with the adoption of the Convention, “the inter-American legal system has been strengthened with common rules that are applied among member states—the product of evolving international criminal law.”

According to Ambassador Einaudi, the Convention seeks basically to formalize cooperation among member states on criminal matters, thereby affording governments additional mechanisms with which to campaign against organized crime and impunity.”

Adopted at the OAS General Assembly in The Bahamas in 1992, the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters took effect four years later. Guatemala now joins Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, United States and Venezuela as states that have ratified the treaty.

Reference: E-101/03