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CrisisWatch Guatemala

Unchanged Situation

Country continued to see high levels of violence, including four simultaneous armed attacks in Guatemala City attributed to street-gang extortion 10 Nov left four employees or service providers of Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica dead and two wounded. Hundreds of protesters 7 Nov blocked country’s main highways, demanding resignation of President Morales and members of Congress who mid-Sept tried to modify criminal code to avert prosecutions on corruption and illegal financing charges. National University Student’s Association 16 Nov staged peaceful march through Guatemala City, calling for clean-up of Congress. With support of International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), courts made progress on multiple anti-corruption cases: 27 Oct sent to trial 28 suspects, including former President Otto Pérez Molina and former VP Roxana Baldetti, for participating in 2015 “La Línea” customs fraud case; 7 Nov lifted immunity of congressional deputy Julio Júarez to be investigated for alleged role in 2015 murder of two journalists; 4 Nov indicted deputy Roberto Kestler for corruption in justice system; and 3 Nov indicted seventeen municipal authorities for corruption in first major case in Western Highlands.

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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

Our People

Arturo Matute

Analyst, Guatemala

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Analyst, Northern Triangle