Corruption will grow in Guatemala as attorney general dismantles judicial institutions, Right Livelihood warns

News 21.06.2022

Under Guatemala’s recently re-elected attorney general, corruption will continue and those defending the country’s justice system will face increased persecution, Right Livelihood warned the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Read our full statement here.

Speaking at an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers during the 50th session of the Council, we noted Attorney General Consuelo Porras’ worrying track record during her first term.

“Throughout the past four years, instead of fulfilling her professional responsibility to fairly administer justice, Consuelo Porras not only supported the dismantling of judicial institutions but also systematically blocked any corruption investigations involving President Giammattei,” the statement said.

Those standing up against corruption, including independent justice operators, journalists and human rights defenders, have been systematically persecuted under Porras’ tenure.

“To date, 24 former Guatemalan independent justice operators have been forced to flee the country due to threats of reprisals,” we noted.

Despite warnings from local and international human rights defenders, including Right Livelihood Laureate Thelma Aldana, Porras was re-elected in May for another term. This will likely result in even more corruption and crackdowns on those defending the country’s justice system.

“The number of criminal cases, imprisonment or forced exiled of those defending justice, democratic values and human rights is likely to continue to increase in the years to come,” the statement warned.

We called on the Human Rights Council to keep Guatemala under close scrutiny and urge the country’s government to preserve the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.

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