Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Los Mossos Will Train the PNC

Who are Los Mossos? Los Mossos d’Escuadra originated in Cataluña in 1719 and are one of the oldest true police forces in the world. They were formed as an armed force of civilians whose job was to protect property, transportation of goods, and marketplaces. Back in 1719 it was a revolutionary idea to use civilians for this type of work instead of military forces.

The Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (Cicig) reached an agreement with the authorities in Cataluña, España to bring a group of Policía de la Generalitat, Mossos d’Esquadra to Guatemala to train the PNC in security methods and criminal investigation techniques. Details of the agreement were not available from the Vice-Minister of Public Security or the Spanish Embassy, nor has the agreement been ratified. But Spanish press sources indicate that the agreement will be ratified and that training will also address human rights issues, protocols, and police ethics.

The PNC (Policía Nacional Civil de Guatemala) was formed after the signing of the Peace Agreement in December of 1996 and this is not the first time that the PNC has received training from Spanish police. In February of 1997, the Guatemalan government decided to model the new police force after the Guardia Civil Española. Through their Agency of International Cooperation, Spain provided police personnel to train the PNC but analysts agree that the results were not what was hoped for. It is hoped that this new training effort produces better results.

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