Worrying Actions of Guatemalan President Challenged by Nation’s Highest Court

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Posted in Guatemala

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is accustomed to having his way, making this court order especially surprising. The Guatemala Constitutional Court issued an annulment of President Morales’s executive move to bar Iván Velásquez, the head of CICIG, from re-entering the country.  Morales has 48 hours to gather his senses and either heed or ignore the Court’s decree.

The plenary of magistrates annuls the decision taken by President Jimmy Morales, which prevents the return of the head of CICIG,” said Dina Ochoa, one of five judges on the court.

On September 4, Morales barred Velasquez from entering the country and last month, the Guatemalan president announced that he would not renew the CICIG’s two-year term. The move effectively forced the organization to cease its activities by the end of the year.

The government’s attacks on the CICIG triggered criticism abroad and had led to growing protests at home…

In terms of ending the CICIG’s mandate, Morales said he did not intend to obstruct justice, but that he sought to establish the country’s constitution “as our highest law.” He noted that he was not obligated to obey the anti-corruption organ’s “illegal rulings.”

The CICIG was established in 2006, with the backing of the UN and had successfully prosecuted Morales’ predecessor, former President Otto Perez Molina and his vice president.

Despite staunchly supporting anti-corruption body in the past, the State Department under US President Donald Trump has stayed silent on the recent attacks against it.

Read the full story from Deutsche Welle here.

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