On October 24th, 2011, Tt DPK's Project Against Violence and Impunity (PAVI) project team in Guatemala met with General Prosecutor, Ms. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, to officially present the Geographical Information System (GIS) that will be installed in the Analysis Unit of the Public Ministry in the capital city's Prosecutor's Office. During the event, the PAVI team explained to Ms. Paz y Paz and her advisors how the system operates, its technical capacities, and its various applications that can be used to fight crime in Guatemala.
Among other uses, the GIS will enable the Analysis Unit to locate criminal acts through the geo-coding of addresses and will show the location and concentration of criminal activities. The System will also help identify crime patterns and provide experts with statistics for each department of the unit. In addition, the GIS will go beyond the mere analysis of data and will evolve into more complex uses such as the efficient distribution of cases, the ability to indicate better locations of future prosecutor’s offices, and helping to increase police presence in areas where organized crime is growing, to mention a few.
According to the US Department of State (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2045.htm#profile), the Government of Guatemala (GoG) is currently facing serious challenges from organized crime and drug cartels. The GoG sometimes has little or no existing capacity to fight criminal organizations, which have better resources and more capital than public institutions. Despite the best efforts of national institutions and officials, there has been a rampant increase of violence in recent years.
Therefore, it not surprising that the members of PAVI who were present during the meeting reported that the General Prosecutor exclaimed, “This is what we were dreaming of but never knew how to attain it. Now the doors are open....” During the meeting, Ms. Paz y Paz along with other Public Ministry officials expressed how pleased they are with the work the Project has done to support their work and their deep gratitude for having an advanced tool such as GIS that will support their efforts to prosecute crime efficiently.