translated from Spanish: Guatemala prohibits entry of anti-corruption Commissioner

city of GUATEMALA (AP) – following the decision of President Jimmy Morales to prevent the entry of the holder of the International Commission against impunity in Guatemala, the Secretary-General of the United Nations to ntonio Guterres has asked the Commissioner Iván Velásquez to lead the instance from outside the country. Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman said that the UN Secretariat has serious doubts about the decision, which is reviewing it and that does not seem to be consistent with the establishment of CICIG agreement.» Secretary general has called on the Lord Velásquez that continues at the forefront of the CICIG from outside of Guatemala, until there is more clarity on the situation», Dujarric said in a statement.

Few hours after it was reported about the denial of access to Velasquez, six legal recourse before the Constitutional Court is engaged to counteract the decision and try to give effect to an injunction that would protect Velasquez of being thrown out of Guatemala or not have possibility to re-enter. Velasquez was on Tuesday in Washington in meetings to inform the work of CICIG. On Friday, a year of maturity, Morales announced that it would not renew the mandate of this UN agency, which has led the fight against corruption in the country, businessmen, officials and former officials to investigate along with the prosecution of Government accused of corruption. In a statement on Tuesday, the Government said that Morales announced his decision to the United Nations and requested a replacement for Velasquez. The document describes him as «a person who violates the order and public security; affecting governance, institutions, justice and peace in the country». Velasquez said in a phone message to The Associated Press that had knowledge of the decision without comment nothing more. Gabriel Orellana announced, told a local radio that the decision to Morales was «a serious political mistake». For his part, Javier Hernández, head of the official party caucus, said that it did not consider that the decision of the President «was a coup d’Etat», as some messages on social networks qualified decision, «because it does not affect institutions’.
A diplomatic official who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to give statements confirmed to the AP that the ambassadors accredited in the country would be assembled emergency to discuss their position on the decision to Morales.

This is the second time the President tries to hit the CICIG. The first was in August of 2017, two days after this Commission and the then prosecutor general Thelma Aldana requested the removal of his immunity to investigate it to hide financial information from his party. At that then Morales declared persona non-grata to Velasquez and ordered out of the country. However, the Constitutional Court protected it with an injunction and the presidential order was without effect.
The President now faces a third request for withdrawal of immunity to be able to be investigated for electoral crimes.

This time, the current attorney general, Consuelo batons, and the CICIG made the new request on 10 August to consider that there is sufficient evidence to investigate it. According to both agencies, Morales would have committed illicit electoral financing by the party that brought him to power in 2015. At that time, Morales was general Secretary and legal representative of the party front national convergence (FCN-nation), and would have received more than one million dollars by businessmen for the election campaign. According to the research, these resources have not been recorded in the accounts of the political group or were reported to the Electoral Supreme Tribunal (TSE). Criticisms by what happened on Tuesday did not expect even outside the country. U.S. Congresswoman Norma Torres wrote on Twitter that the President’s decision was an attempt to evade the proceedings against her. «Sooner or later all criminals will face justice.» In addition, the Inter-American Commission on human rights expressed concern about the decision to Morales not to renew the mandate of the Commission through a press release and said that he had «a crucial role» in the fight against corruption. The Guatemalan Congress last week joined a Commission of five members that will analyze the request for withdrawal of immunity of the President. Members shall analyze the documentation gathered by the Prosecutor’s Office and the CICIG and produce a report that will be discussed before the full. To make the President lose immunity 105 votes of 158 deputies want to. In this note: Guatemala Jimmy Morales UN CICIG



Original source in Spanish

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