Urgent Action: Constitutional Crisis in Guatemala

Since August 2017 when Guatemala President Jimmy Morales attempted to declare Ivan Velasquez, the head of the UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) persona non grata, the Guatemalan government and economic elite have made multiple attempts to stop investigations of fraud, money laundering, and illicit campaign financing.

In August 2018, the President announced that CICIG’s mandate would not be renewed and Commissioner Ivan Velasquez was not permitted to enter the country. The Constitutional Court ordered immigration authorities to allow entry to Velasquez, but Morales, speaking through two ministers, said he would defy the court order. The Guatemalan government has violated legal resolutions issued by the Constitutional Court regarding CICIG’s mandate, and on January 7, 2019 illegally detained and denied entry to one of its investigators, Yilen Osorio Zuluaga and gave CICIG 24 hours to leave the country.

According to Guatemalan Human Rights organizations these actions against CICIG could lead to a “Technical Coup” putting at risk the country’s constitutional order, weakening specialized government investigation units, reducing the struggle against impunity on combating street gangs and empowering the old Illegal Groups and Clandestine Security Organizations.

Please send our urgent action to show international solidarity with CICIG’s work in Guatemala.

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