USAID Celebrates MAINA’s First Year of Operation Providing Justice Services to Guatemalan Youth

Ruby Monzón, the Head Prosecutor for Children and Adolescents at the Integrated Attention Model for Children and Adolescents (MAINA), reflects on the first year of the center and its historic place as the first center in Latin America to integrate justice sector institutions under one roof for the comprehensive care of youth victims of violence. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is dedicated to supporting Guatemalan justice sector institutions by improving coordination, internal processes, and creating justice models that have a specific focus on youth victims of violence.

"Running MAINA is not a job, it is an honor and a privilege" - Head Prosecutor, Ruby Monzón

Violence against children is the second most frequently reported crime in Guatemala with 40,697 cases in 2019. USAID partnered with the Public Ministry to design and implement MAINA, bringing together 11 government institutions to provide specialized attention to children and adolescent victims of violence, exploitation, and trafficking. By housing these justice sector institutions under one roof, MAINA has dramatically reduced wait times for investigative and judicial procedures. The 60-day process to order the detention of a suspect has been reduced to ten hours. Children receive their initial health and safety assessment within seven hours, down from 45 days.

During its first year of operation MAINA responded to more than 3,200 cases, 753 of which were registered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that the Center is able to continue supporting child victims of crime during the pandemic, USAID supports the MAINA center in creating new health and safety protocols and to hold virtual hearings, 37 of which were held in the first two weeks of inception.

USAID partners with the Guatemalan government and civil society organizations to improve justice services for youth affected by violence through centers like MAINA. By strengthening the capacity of justice sector institutions USAID bolsters their overall effectiveness and thereby reduces levels of violence and impunity.

USAID celebrates MAINA’s first successful year in operation. Head Prosecutor Ruby Monzón, knows that despite all the challenges that have taken place during its first year, MAINA has been instrumental in improving access to health and justice services for children victims of violence, making Guatemala a safer place for its youth to live in and thrive.

"Joining the threads that violence has broken and sewing a new life for a young person has been a real privilege for me. Seeing a smile on the face of a child we have helped is the greatest award I have been able to receive." - Head Prosecutor, Ruby Monzón

USAID’s Youth and Gender Justice project provides assistance to the Guatemalan government to promote public confidence in institutions and ensure the transformation of the justice system to respond to the needs and challenges that vulnerable populations confront while demanding respect for gender, ethnic background, and sexual diversity.

Created By
Benjamin Ilka


Benjamin Ilka USAID