Guatemala Institutional Justice Strengthening (GIJS)

To improve access to justice for vulnerable groups in Guatemala, JES is conducting a four-year project in close collaboration with their Public Prosecutor’s Office (“Ministerio Publico,” or MP).

Our comprehensive, sustainable strategy includes nineteen interrelated initiatives that aim to strengthen services for vulnerable victims of crime—including women and girls, Indigenous peoples, seniors, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQI+ community.

Country
Guatemala
Funder
Sweden Sverige
Status
Active
August 2018 - June 2022

Our work is grounded in four strategic goals:

  1. Building Technological Platforms JES digital experts are creating custom platforms to reduce case backlog for justice professionals, improve performance evaluation and improve the accessibility of justice services to victims.
  2. Improving Vulnerable Victims Services JES introduced a Victims Services and Investigative Protocol for people with disabilities and vulnerable conditions, and provided in-depth training to prosecutors to investigate human rights defender cases, hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community, and torture crime. The project also works to improve the response to the national missing women’s alert system, by developing services and protocols for local search teams.
  3. Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples and Remote Communities. Rural and indigenous communities face increased barriers to accessing justice. JES teams have launched a national interpreters network to ensure these communities are heard and have formalized processes around traditional cultural practices and criminal investigations.
  4. Remote Care, Capacity Building, and Self-Care. JES is providing expertise and technical support to the MP to improve gender equity and capacity building within the institution, while leading the project’s implementation and evaluating ongoing progress. We’re also playing an important role in improving coordination between Guatemalan justice agencies to ensure our work will have lasting impacts for years to come.

Project impact to date:

  • Converting all archives and active cases files to digital formats. By scanning 1.1 million documents from 22,802 cases, we’re creating a centralized, victim-oriented platform and estimate we’ll reduce case backlog by 40%
  • Designed the framework for a Missing Women’s Alert’s (“Isabel-Claudina Alert”), which significantly improved communication across Guatemala, especially in rural areas
  • Trained 1,500 justice sector and civil society representatives on its search mechanism, which improved responsiveness in locating missing women within 24-48 hours 
  • Launched the “National Interpreters Network,” enabling prosecutors to better serve victims in 16 Indigenous languages and trained 65 indigenous interpreters on the new platform
guatemala institutional justice strengthening