- President-elect Perez Molina announced the appointment of three former Kaibiles to serve as Minister of Defense, Commander in Chief, and Sub-Commander in Chief—Noé Anzueto, René Casados Ramirez, and Manuel López Ambrosio, respectively. All three appointees have had very close ties to the Kaibiles.
- Christa Castañeda Torres, the niece of former first lady Sandra Torres, will be tried this week on charges of money laundering in the municipality of Democracia, Huehuetenango. Gloria Torres and her daughter, Maria Marta, are also being tried for money laundering and fraud.
- President-elect Pérez Molina expressed his support of the Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz, reiterating that he plans to maintain her mandate through his presidency. U.S. Ambassador Arnold Chacon also showed his support of Paz y Paz, applauding her contributions and announcing an additional $3.2 million in U.S. funding to the Cicig.
- InSight Crime looks at the achievements of Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz, who has been responsible for some significant progress in Guatemala’s justice system and several high-profile arrests. However, it appears the Paz y Paz’s position may be under fire by the incoming president, Otto Perez Molina. While, Perez Molina announced this week his full intention to maintain her post, it remains to be seen how that promise will play out in the coming year.
- Guatemalan authorities announced the dismantling of a human sex trafficking ring that lured young Guatemalan women to work as prostitutes in Jordan. The women were promised employment upon arrival in Jordan, but were instead sold for sexual exploitation.
- According to the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) recently released by Transparency International, Guatemala’s perception of corruption increased significantly between 2010 and 2011, dropping from 90th to 120th out of 183 countries. Al-Jazeera analyzes the factors and recent events contributing to the drop.
- The Tico Times provides a harrowing report of the high rates of chronic malnutrition rampant among Guatemalan children and families. According to the Times, malnourishment is a ‘life sentence,’ which greatly threatens the physical and mental development of young children.
- A piece by Southern Pulse analyzes the growing control of the Zetas drug cartel over the Guatemala-Mexico border, particularly the Chiapas-Peten corridor, in the context of recent arrests by security forces and Otto Pérez Molina’s promises to impose an aggressive military crack-down on narco-trafficking.
- The Guatemala Times and El Periodico report on the recent release of millions of documents from the Guatemalan national police archives, which will now be publicly available online thanks to collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin. The documents contain valuable information on torture, forced disappearances and violence during Guatemala’s armed conflict. Read more about the archives and the history of the national police at UT-Austin’s website.