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Press Release: LAWG Calls for Guatemalan President to Respect Constitutional Court Decision on CICIG Anti-Corruption Efforts

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Author: Lisa Haugaard

Contact:
Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director
(202) 546-7010 | lisah@lawg.org

January 9, 2019

LAWG Calls for Guatemalan President to Respect Constitutional Court Decision on CICIG Anti-Corruption Efforts

Washington, D.C.–The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) urges Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to comply with the Guatemalan Constitutional Court ruling which overturns his decision to abruptly cancel the mandate of the anti-corruption agency CICIG. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also called on President Jimmy Morales to uphold the mandate of the CICIG. Unilaterally terminating CICIG’s mandate deals a blow to efforts to combat corruption and improve the justice system in Guatemala. CICIG has been effectively working with determined and valiant Guatemalan prosecutors to root out corruption wherever it is found—corruption by organized crime, drug traffickers, businessmen, and politicians. Such corruption drives inequality, sacks government coffers of the funding needed for basic public services and is often linked to serious human rights abuses. CICIG’s efforts have offered more than a ray of hope to Guatemalans struggling to build a more just society.

The Latin America Working Group calls on Secretary of State Pompeo to convey clearly to President Morales that the United States government believes that the Guatemalan government must advance in strengthening the rule of law, protecting human rights, and combating corruption, including in its own ranks. He should make it abundantly clear that this includes continuing CICIG’s mandate and cooperating with its efforts.

While President Trump was preparing to go on television calling for building more walls to keep out the caravans of Hondurans, Guatemalans and other Central Americans fleeing violence, lack of opportunity, corruption and impunity in their countries, the President of Guatemala abruptly cancelled his government’s agreement with the international agency CICIG to fight corruption. It makes no sense for the United States to fail to react vigorously to this blatant setback on corruption in Guatemala when the corrosive impact of corruption is one of the factors that force Guatemalans to flee,” said Lisa Haugaard, director of the Latin America Working Group.

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