WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
9 Jan 2019 | Press Release

Constitutional Court Upholds the Rule of Law in Guatemala

Government of Guatemala Must Respect Democratic Order and Obey Ruling

Washington, DC—On Wednesday, January 9, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala ruled that the government must reverse its unilateral decision to end its agreement with the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Adriana Beltrán, Director for Citizen Security at research and advocacy group the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), issued the following statement in reaction to these developments:

“The favorable ruling by the Constitutional Court to suspend the Guatemalan government’s decision to unilaterally terminate the mandate of the CICIG is an overwhelmingly positive step for the the rule of law in Guatemala. This most recent decision is consistent with previous court rulings that have blocked efforts by President Morales and his allies to undermine the work of CICIG in order to protect themselves from corruption investigations and trial proceedings, many of which are already underway.

The real test now is whether the Guatemalan government will comply with the court’s decision and allow the CICIG to complete its mandate, or whether we are going to see further attempts to decimate the rule of law and erode democracy for the sake of protecting a powerful, criminal elite.

Now more than ever, there is an urgent need to ensure the safety of judges, prosecutors, civil society leaders, and others who have courageously supported efforts to tackle corruption and strengthen the rule of law in Guatemala. The international community must be firm in ensuring the safety of all Guatemalans, particularly those dedicated to carrying out justice, and condemning these blatant affronts to Guatemala’s democracy and judicial independence.”