International Outrage Grows over Attempt to Block Guatemalan President-elect’s Inauguration
The international community is expressing growing outrage over what appears to be a deliberate attempt to prevent the inauguration of Guatemala’s President-elect Bernardo Arevalo. Observers believe that a politicized justice system is being utilized to keep Arevalo from assuming office, a move that is being vehemently condemned by multiple entities.
The Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (Grupo IDEA) released a letter signed by 29 former heads of state from Latin America and Spain, denouncing the persecution of Arevalo and his running mate Karin Herrera. The letter asserts that this persecution aims to obstruct the will of the Guatemalan people, who expressed their choice through free elections.
The latest development came when a prosecutor at Guatemala’s attorney general’s office sought to revoke Arevalo’s immunity from prosecution. The accusation claims that Arevalo and Herrera were involved in the takeover of a university in the capital city last year. It is important to note that Arevalo, who ran as an anti-graft candidate and emerged as a landslide election winner in August, has labeled this move as absolutely illegal.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, along with its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, strongly condemned the attorney general’s incessant improper actions and interference. They believe that these actions threaten the democratic order, the ongoing presidential transition process, as well as the individual and collective exercise of civil and political liberties in Guatemala.
The outrage has also caught the attention of senior U.S. Department of State official Brian Nichols, who criticized the attorney general’s office’s initiative to strip Arevalo and Herrera of their immunity. Nichols referred to it as a malign request in a social media post. This condemnation highlights the international concern surrounding the situation.
Guatemala’s Attorney General Consuela Porras, who has been accused of corruption by the U.S. government, has been actively pursuing a criminal investigation against Arevalo and his center-left Seed Movement party since before the election. These efforts have intensified further with the recent attempt to remove Arevalo’s immunity.
The controversy surrounding the president-elect’s impending inauguration has elicited widespread condemnation from various corners. International organizations, former heads of state, and senior U.S. officials are all raising their voices against what they perceive as a politically motivated obstruction of the democratic will of the Guatemalan people. As the situation unfolds, numerous stakeholders are closely monitoring the developments, emphasizing the need for a fair and unbiased legal process.
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