Proposal for anti-crime tax sparks debate in Guatemala

AP News
Posted: Nov 10, 2015 4:52 PM
Proposal for anti-crime tax sparks debate in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A group of experts suggested Tuesday that Guatemala impose a temporary tax to pay for strengthening prosecutors' offices in the country, where the justice system is so weak a U.N. anti-impunity commission is lending a hand.

At present, about 95 percent of crimes go unpunished in Guatemala. But the proposal for the new tax drew mixed opinions.

Ivan Velasquez, who heads the U.N. commission, backed the idea, saying a similar tax was imposed to finance the 1996 peace accords that ended 36 years of civil war in Guatemala.

But Javier Zepeda, leader of the country's top industry association, opposed any new taxes right now.

Guatemala's anti-crime and anti-corruption forces are riding high after forcing the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina earlier this year for his links to a corruption scandal.