Meet Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey – Guatemala’s first female Attorney General. She is a respected criminal law specialist and judge with over 18 years of experience and is also the founder of a human rights organization, the Institute for Comparative Criminal Studies of Guatemala (ICCPG).
Since being appointed to the Prosecutor’s office in December 2010, Paz y Paz has worked tirelessly to ensure perpetrators of mass human rights atrocities face accountability and justice for their crimes. Paz y Paz’s office built the case to order former President of Guatemala, Effrain Rios Montt, to trial for his crimes against humanity, including genocide and mass rapes from over 20 years ago. Her office has since put Rios Montt under house arrest.
Last year a court sentenced four soldiers to 6,060 years in prison for killing 201 people in the town of Dos Erres in 1982. It was the first-ever prosecution for a civil war era massacre. Since Paz y Paz has been the Attorney General, five of the 10 most wanted criminals in Guatemala have been caught. For her efforts to prosecute “criminals who previously thought themselves to be untouchable,” Paz y Paz faces threats to her safety.
Paz y Paz’s work requires a great deal of courage. Let’s keep her in the spotlight.
Write a message of support and solidarity for Claudia Paz y Paz, and post it on our Facebook wall, tweet it at #defensoras, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send the messages to Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey herself.
Quiet Guatemalan prosecuter takes on dictator, drug gangs, Reuters, 29 May 2012.
Video: In pursuit of peace: Claudia Paz y Paz, Crisis Group.
Video courtesy Crisis Group – http://www.crisisgroup.org