Program Director, Central America
Arturo Aguilar is a lawyer, investigator, and political strategist with over 20 years championing justice and democracy in Latin America.
His passion for service began while his home country of Guatemala was still at war. At just 18 years old, Arturo was instrumental to solving the murder of Bishop Gerardi in Guatemala—one of the post-civil war landmark cases. The case was immortalized by American novelist and New Yorker contributing writer Francisco Goldman in The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? He spent the next four years working for the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations in Guatemala.
Aguilar was Secretary of Strategic and Private Affairs to Guatemala’s first woman Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz. A key member during her tenure, Aguilar built key alliances with regional governments in Latin America, Europe, and across all levels of the U.S. government. He was also instrumental in developing a large network of political contacts and allies across different sectors of society. The team made strides in reforming the Public Ministry and in the prosecution of organized crime, including war crimes, resulting in a significant drop in impunity rates, and prosecuted the first ever genocide case in a national court.
Aguilar served as Senior Political Officer to the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The commission has been a driving force in a series of investigations regarding state capture, corruption, money laundering, fraud, and organized crime in the public and private sector; it also helped develop profound legal and institutional reforms in the criminal justice system in Guatemala.
Arturo’s most recent post was as Executive Director of Seattle International Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on democracy, rule of law, good governance, and women’s rights in Central America.