ROME, 15 December – A cooperation project to promote the culture of legality in Guatemalan civil society, starting from children and young people: the Italian Government will make a contribution of over 110,000 USD to the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CIGIG) so as to implement the initiative, aiming at preventing the spread of crime.
The project will focus on specific political, social and cultural initiatives aimed at reinforcing the concept of rule of law in the country, improving the behaviour of younger generations by educating them to respect the law through the daily observance of shared rules. “In order to defeat criminal organisations, it is important to have the support of civil society, especially young people. New generations must be made responsible and educated to the culture of legality,” said Italian Ambassador Edoardo Pucci, after signing the document.
Ambassador Pucci also pointed out that initiatives of this kind have been implemented in Italy, to educate citizens to lawfulness because “a society can improve, especially if the State is willing to spread a true culture of civil values in civil society and among young people, knowing that dignity, liberty, solidarity and security cannot be taken for granted forever, but must be pursued and sought and, once they are achieved, protected,” he said. It is with this awareness that “civil society has fought organised crime in Italy”. Rebeca Arias, the Coordinator of UN activities in Guatemala thanked Italy for supporting the project, which was signed on the International Anti-Corruption Day.
“We know that corruption hinders the development of States because citizens receive fewer resources and services when this phenomenon exists and institutions don’t work properly,” Ms Arias also highlighted the importance of this type of project in strengthening national institutions and expressed her gratitude to other donor countries that are contributing to combating impunity and corruption in Guatemala. Iván Velásquez Gómez, the director of CIGIG, added that Guatemala’s judicial system needs to be modernised.
“The idea is to implement a government programme to defeat corruption and the culture of illegality, which is the culture of taking short-cuts. A positive development in this direction is only conceivable if there is a change of mindset among citizens,” Mr Gómez said, calling on other countries to join the Italian initiative. (OI/AS)