Tag Archives: law

This is how it falls apart

I’ve been sharing a lot of news lately about President Jimmy Morales’ ongoing attack of the CICIG (the UN-backed commission to investigate organized crime and corruption in Guatemala.)

The concern is not only for the individual members of CICIG and their invaluable work, but also for justice and the rule of law in general.

The continuing assault on the CICIG is perhaps the most visible action of those who desperately seek to maintain Guatemala in a state of impunity and lawlessness. This dark alliance of politicians, military officials, economic elite, and others are willing to undermine democracy, and embrace illegality, in order to maintain their power and privilege. They are known as the “Pact of Corruption.”

A blindfolded skull unearthed during an exhumation in Guatemala
Today we are witnessing three frightening results of their efforts:

1.)  The presiding judges in the corruption case against the brother and son of President Jimmy Morales have dismissed the CICIG as co-prosecutors in the case. The judges ruled (without any request from the defense lawyers!) that CICIG’s absence in today’s proceedings justified their removal as co-plaintiffs. Also implicated in the case are high-ranking officials from the previous Patriot Party administration.

2.)  The three Constitutional Court judges who challenged the arbitrary and unconstitutional decisions of President Morales to expel the Swedish Ambassador, and later, the CICIG from Guatemala are at risk of being tried for “exceeding their mandate.” A congressional committee is meeting right now to determine if they will be stripped of their immunity from prosecution in order to face trial.

3.)  Congress  is currently considering reforming the “National Reconciliation Law.” This reform would illegally grant a blanket amnesty to all military officials who committed crimes against humanity during the armed conflict. These crimes include the forced disappearance, rape, torture, sexual slavery, massacres, and genocide committed against the Mayan indigenous people. For those who have been already been found guilty and sentenced, the amnesty would order their immediate release from prison.