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CrisisWatch Guatemala

Unchanged Situation

Tensions remained high between govt and International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, which has been preparing case and possible charges against President Morales and others for illicit electoral financing) following Morales’ attempted cancellation of CICIG’s mandate in Jan. Head of State Prosecutor’s office 16 Feb reiterated govt does not recognise CICIG as a valid actor in national affairs, after CICIG representatives were present at initial hearing 13 Feb in case of former prosecutor accused of obstruction of justice. Sweden 17 Feb recalled ambassador for consultations citing political situation and state of bilateral relations; in May 2018 govt had claimed ambassador had interfered in domestic politics. Political violence increased with attacks on candidates in lead up to June presidential elections, including unknown assailants 11 Feb shooting dead Marvin Giovanni Peña, Fuerza party’s mayoral candidate for Tiquisate, Escuintla department (south); Fuerza presidential candidate Mauricio Radford warned of chronic absence of authority in municipalities such as Dolores y Las Cruces, El Petén department (north). Govt late-Jan appointed Morales ally to oversee security of at-risk judges, leading to concerns Morales may use provision of security to pressure judges. In attempts to stem flow of Central American migrants northward, Morales and foreign and economy ministers 15 Feb met delegation of U.S. senators and congressmen to review Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle plan to address structural problems fuelling irregular migration.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Feb 2018
Guatemala struggles to adhere to the rule of law. Criminal actors have ways of influencing government decisions that do not produce good conditions for investment or for economic activity in general. Global Finance

Arturo Matute

Former Analyst, Guatemala

Latest Updates

Guatemala: Young Blood, Old Vices

A year after the election of would-be reformer Jimmy Morales as president, corruption investigations are casting a shadow over his inner circle. Recent appointments bring youth and oxygen to his faltering administration, but much still stands in the way of political renewal.

Also available in Español

Crutch to Catalyst? The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala

Dramatic changes upended Guatemalan politics in 2015. Forcing the pace were international prosecutors, bolstered in their fight against corruption and impunity by a great wave of support from ordinary citizens. If Guatemala’s national reforms continue when outside help leaves, it can become a true role model for the region.

Also available in Español