Prosecutor General of Guatemala (2010-14)
In 2010, Dr. Paz y Paz became the first female prosecutor general of Guatemala, and thereafter one of the world’s most noteworthy human rights and rule of law champions for her remarkable efforts to achieve justice for victims of atrocity crimes. In addition to achievements prosecuting organized crime in Guatemala, she also enhanced the Guatemala Public Ministry’s efforts to prosecute human rights cases, most notably a high profile genocide case against former Guatemala dictator, Efraín Rios Montt. This trial was the world’s first genocide trial against a head of state adjudicated in a national court.
Dr. Paz y Paz was also pivotal in developing the partnership between the Public Ministry and the UN Commission to Combat Impunity in Guatemala that resulted in several major corruption investigations. She has received many accolades in recognition of her important human rights advocacy and rule of law work. Forbes named her one of the “five most powerful women changing the world”, and the Center for Justice and Accountability awarded her their Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award in 2013. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored Dr. Paz y Paz at the International Crisis Group’s “In Pursuit of Peace” Award dinner in 2011. She is also the founder of the human rights non-governmental organization, Institute for Comparative Criminal Studies of Guatemala (ICCPG).