Guatemala: Goodbye, CICIG

Arguing that it is time to "strengthen State institutions," President Morales has announced that he will not renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity, whose term expires in a year.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The controversial decision by the Guatemalan government, which was announced over the weekend, is based, according to Morales, on the idea that after ten years of work by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the time has come to transfer its capabilities over to the State. reports that "...The president said that last year the UN had already been notified of concerns that the State of Guatemala had regarding the irresponsible actions of the commission and many of its members, violating our laws and inducing people and institutions to participate in acts of corruption and impunity.  Selective justice has been used to intimidate and terrorize the citizenry, judicial independence has been violated, aiming to manipulate justice, actions that threaten the presumption of innocence and due process, human guarantees protected by our law and international law', added the president."

Morales added "..."I have exhausted all diplomatic processes and always acted in good faith, but we have not seen that good faith on the part of the United Nations Organization. After 11 years, the time has come to transfer the capacities that were taken on, that the CICIG has, to the corresponding Guatemalan institutions."

The announcement comes a year after the Public Ministry and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) presented a request for a preliminary hearing against President Morales for alleged illicit electoral financing. 

This is not the first time that Morales has tried to remove the CICIG and its representatives from the country. In August of last year, the president ordered the removal of the leader of the Commission, Iván Velásquez, from the country, but the Constitutional Court permanently suspended the president's order.  See "Guatemala: Revolt for President Morales" and "Corruption, impunity and politics"

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