The irony is deafening. Following the Guatemalan Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) joint corruption probe’s release of damning information that President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala received illegal campaign finance contributions in 2015, the evidence continues to mount against the legitimacy of Morales’ presidency. The embattled former-comedian, who campaigned on a wave of anti-corruption fanaticism, faces rejuvenated opposition from international and Guatemalan anti-corruption activists.
“As (Thelma) Aldana (Attorney General of Guatemala) said in the press conference announcing the investigation, the MP and CICIG’s focus on illicit campaign financing is part of their strategy to combat corruption in the political system, by eliminating “dark money” in the election system and thereby strengthening democracy. “[Illicit financing] is one of the principal causes of the system of corruption that has captured the Guatemalan state,” said Aldana in the press conference. “Furthermore, it has distorted the democratic model of our country.”
In response to the investigation, Aldana requested the dissolution of the FCN-Nación political party, which was founded in 2008 by retired Generals Jose Luis Quilo Ayuso and Luis Felipe Miranda Trejo. The party remains heavily influenced by the military today, with former Colonel Ovalle Maldonado serving as Morales’s right-hand man during the election. The administration has continually sought to support the Guatemalan armed forces, including attempting to return the yearly military parade for the Day of the Military on June 30 to the main streets of Guatemala City in spite of protests. Despite these efforts, the parade was held on a military base in Guatemala City in 2017.”
Moving forward, the stakes are high for President Morales as he maneuvers the political obstacles posed by the ongoing investigation.
Read the entire article from Jeff Abbott in NACLA