Juan Mahiques (slider)

Latin America at the forefront of the IAP

Following his appointment as president of the International Association of Prosecutors last September, The Latin American Lawyer interviews Juan Bautista Mahiques, current Prosecutor of the City of Buenos Aires, about this significant designation, his leadership plans and the positioning of LatAm within the group.

By Giselle Estrada Ramírez

For the first time a Latin American will head the International Association of Prosecutors, IAP, an institution initially established by the United Nations to bring together members and prosecutorial associations from all continents to promote the rule of law, human rights and the fight against crime. 

Following his appointment as president at the 53rd meeting of the association’s Executive Committee, we spoke with Juan Bautista Mahiques, Argentinian by birth, who, in addition to his extensive experience, talked to us about the challenge of being a prosecutor and the threats in the region, as well as the adverse global situation in the wake of the pandemic.

Juan, congratulations on this important appointment! What are you most excited about in your new position and how have you prepared for it?

All the tasks of the IAP presidency excite me. I am very happy to contribute to the growth and development of this International Network and to expand its work in the international community. In that role, I will focus especially on the institutional growth of the IAP, so that, by expanding its global presence and partnerships, it will increase its capacity to support the work of prosecutors everywhere.

The path I have taken in the Association, first as a member of the Executive Committee and then as regional vice-president, has allowed me to gain an in-depth knowledge of the issues affecting the work of prosecutors in Latin America and the independence of prosecution services.

I will also seek to highlight the role of the IAP in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, I will continue to work with IAP bodies and the UN through its various agencies to generate training and exchanges on key issues such as gender, environment, cybercrime and corruption, among others.

Your experience as Prosecutor of the City of Buenos Aires will have brought you a lot to this new presidency. Will you continue to work in Argentina at the same time? What do you value most in this position?

Yes, I will continue to work as Prosecutor General of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. In recent years, during the exercise of my functions, the complexity of the practices and dynamics of criminal organisations that cross national borders has taken on a greater dimension for me. A clear example is the international operations that we regularly organise together with the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Brazilian National Secretariat of Public Security, in which countries such as Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay are also involved to simultaneously attack cybercriminal networks. We have carried out more than 170 simultaneous raids throughout the American continent, coordinating with the security forces of all countries and with successful results.

Being at the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office is a great honour and challenge…

Read the full interview and download the free magazine The Latin American Lawyer here. Available in Spanish >> https://thelatinamericanlawyer.com/mag/the-latin-american-lawyer-%c2%b7-28/

L Giselle Estrada