Articles about corruption in Guatemala

An article about irregularities in Guatemalan adoption was reported by the Associated Press on Wednesday, December 1. A friend who reads Prensa Libre in Guatemala told me the story had been reported there earlier and picked up in the U.S. 

GUATEMALA CITY — A United Nations anti-corruption commission has found irregularities in Guatemala’s adoption program despite government efforts to prevent fraudulent adoptions.

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala [CICIG] says in a report it found cases where Guatemalan children were given to foreigners who were listed as their “foster parents” to circumvent a ban on international adoptions.

The commission didn’t say how many such cases occurred among the 393 children adopted since 2008, when Guatemala enacted a more stringent adoption law.

Authorities suspended adoptions in 2007 after discovering evidence some babies had been stolen or had fake birth certificates. With the new law, the ban on foreign adoptions was lifted in June. 

The story seems unclear to me. Does it mean adoptions started after the December 2007 shutdown? The article also seems to imply that adoptions reopened in June.  The U.S. State Department withdrew its letter of intent to participate in Guatemala’s new adoption pilot program because it didn’t see evidence that new safeguards were in place.

Some background: In June 2010, the head of CIGIG, Carlos Castresana, the Spanish judge leading the UN commission charged with fighting Guatemala’s corruption, resigned in frustration after the appointment of Conrado Reyes as Attorney General, as reported in this New York Times article. On June 11,  the Times reported that  ”Guatemala’s constitutional court has removed the nation’s embattled attorney general, appearing to head off a growing political crisis in a country besieged by organized crime and corruption.”

Guatemala continues to recover from a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996.

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