Dr. Erika Aifán

Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Dr. Aifán holds a Doctoral Degree in Criminal Sciences, is a university professor, and was a Guatemalan judge for nearly 20 years; she is also the President of the Guatemalan Association of Judges for Integrity (AGJI). During the last five years she was a judge at Guatemala’s High-risk D Court, which handles the country’s biggest corruption and criminal cases, including several indictments targeting politicians and wealthy business executives. However, after facing persecution, harassment, requests to lift her immunity and high risk of detention as a result of her work, she left Guatemala to preserve her personal liberty and integrity, and now resides in Washington D.C. In 2019, she received protection measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Her case is emblematic of the current context of retaliation against judges, prosecutors and lawyers involved in efforts to stop corruption and impunity for serious human rights abuses in Guatemala. Dr. Aifán was recognized by the U.S. State Department as a 2021 International Woman of Courage (IWOC) for her efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Guatemala.