© SWP

© SWP

Günther Maihold

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Günther Maihold has been the Deputy Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) since 2004. Coming from a background of Political Science and Sociology, Prof Maihold received his doctorate in 1987 from the University of Regensburg, where he subsequently worked as a Research
Fellow. After having spent eight years as project
manager in social policy consulting in Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, as well as the Department for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, he was appointed Director of the Ibero-American Institute of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin. Günther Maihold was a lecturer at the University / GH Duisburg and at the Latin American Institute of the Free University of Berlin. Since November 2006, he has been an Honorary Professor in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin
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publication
Environmental Rights and Conflicts over Raw Materials in Latin America. The Escazú Agreement Is Ready to Come into Force in 2021

On 5 November 2020 Mexico ratified the so-called Escazú Agreement, a treaty between Latin American and Caribbean states on establishing regional transparency and en­viron­­ment standards, as the eleventh country to do so. The prescribed quorum of ratifications has thus been attained, and the agreement can come into force in 2021. This will launch an innovative multilateral instrument that is intended to create more citizen par­ticipation and improve the assertion of citizens’ rights in environmental matters. In Latin America, economic interests dominate when it comes to the exploitation of raw materials; furthermore, there is a large number of conflicts over resources. The agree­ment thus offers affected indigenous tribes and human-rights defenders more oppor­tu­nities for information, participation and access to the justice system in environmen­tal matters. Despite this binding first step, some leading countries in the region have so far failed to ratify the agreement. Many of them are reluctant to join, arguing that cer­tain provisions violate their national sovereignty and their freedom of decision. For Germany and Europe, the agreement offers new leverage for drafting supply chain laws.

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publication
Responsibility in Supply Chains - Germany’s Due Diligence Act Is a Good Start

On 3 March, the Federal Cabinet adopted an act on corporate due diligence in supply chains. This represents an important step towards German businesses assuming full and proper responsibility for the supply chains associated with their goods and services. The move puts Germany in a group of European countries like France and the Netherlands that have already instituted legal frameworks of their own. However, by choosing to exclude civil liability the German government has left aside a powerful tool for applying targeted pressure to companies that fail to fulfil their obligations. In order to maximise the law’s impact, the German Bundestag and government should therefore adopt additional flanking measures. At the European and international levels, Germany can also contribute to making companies assume greater responsibility for their own supply chains.

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publication
Colombia’s Peace and Venezuela’s Turmoil. An Emerging Regional Crisis Landscape in South America

Despite concerted political efforts to isolate the Colombian peace process from Venezuela’s internal unrest, the signs suggest coalescence and tectonic strife in the region. There are justified concerns that the increasingly interconnected constellation of precarious peace in Colombia and growing authoritarianism in Venezuela could generate new dynamics of violence. The two Andean neighbours are so closely connected by ideological confrontation, border disputes, illegal violent actors, migration flows, the narcotics trade and economic exchange that the individual problems become almost indistinguishable – both within and between the two countries. The bottom line is that the political and economic crisis in Venezuela is eroding efforts to consolidate peace efforts in Colombia. Avoiding lasting harm will require the two states to pursue integrated solutions supported by the international community.

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publication
Intervention by Invitation? Shared Sovereignty in the Fight against Impunity in Guatemala

This article deals with the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a joint hybrid commission to investigate impunity in the context of illegal security networks and organized crime. It was set up as an external governance intervention through an agreement between the UN and the State of Guatemala in 2006 to strengthen state institutions in the face of a worsening security situation. Based on a delegation of governance in the modality of shared sovereignty, CICIG has been operating in the country since 2006, trying to generate support in the national realm and the judicial system of Guatemala while exposed to the critical junctures of the highly contested national debates on its existence. More specifically, the article analyses the patterns of appropriation and rejection of CICIG by different actor constellations. Through a critical discourse analysis, actor constellations are specified, various themes of appropriation and rejection are detected and specific aspects of CICIG's mandate are investigated.

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