September 27, 2022

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Guatemala’s Public Ministry’s Continued Attacks Against Independent Judges and Prosecutors

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Ned Price, Department Spokesperson

The United States is deeply concerned by Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras’ continued, brazen attacks on Guatemala’s justice system through politically motivated arrests and detentions of current and former public servants fighting corruption. The reports of repeated, uncommon delays in arraignment hearings, the withholding of information to defense counsels, refusals to hold hearings publicly, and leaks of sealed case details to online entities raise serious concerns regarding the fairness of these proceedings. In addition to the arrest of at least six former and current anti-corruption prosecutors, other prosecutors have been forced to flee the country and efforts continue to remove the immunity of additional anti-corruption judges and prosecutors. We are also alarmed that procedural delays often place public servants in the same facilities with those they have helped investigate or convict, leading to serious risks to their safety.

The United States calls on the Government of Guatemala to respect the human rights of all individuals, including by guaranteeing fair trials and ensuring the personal safety and fair and transparent treatment of all justice sector actors. The Attorney General’s efforts to target anticorruption and other prosecutors follow a disturbing trend of corruption and the weakening of democratic institutions and processes in Guatemala.

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