The international organizations that make up the International Observatory on Guatemala express grave concerns regarding news that today, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala will be hearing an amparo (a legal protective mechanism) related to the swearing in of Gloria Porras.
Porras was reelected in April 2021 as magistrate to the Constitutional Court by the Superior University Council of the San Carlos University, however, the directive board of Congress ultimately blocked her from taking her seat on the court. This amparo, which would revoke the election of Gloria Porras, is the latest of a series of irregular actions taken against Magistrate Porras and is emblematic of broader attacks against independent judges and prosecutors in Guatemala.
The action has been pushed by Nester Vásquez, a Constitutional Court magistrate who was included on the Engel List and signaled by the United States as an antidemocratic and corrupt actor. This is the first time this has occurred in Guatemala, and is indicative of the high level of cooptation of the justice system by illicit networks that aim to generate impunity and undermine the rule of law. Additionally, we see a continuation of harassment by the same actors, such as the Foundation against Terrorism, of which many members have been sanctioned by the United States as corrupt actors.
The level of institutional deterioration and setbacks to the rule of law that Guatemala has suffered in recent months is extremely alarming. Equally concerning is the relentless persecution, harassment, and criminalization of justice operators who have played a key role in the fight against corruption or whose actions have affected illicit interests of political, military or economic actors. We urge the Constitutional Court to assume its role as the highest judicial body in Guatemala, guaranteeing the rule of law and democratic guarantees by rejecting the amparo that aims to impede Gloria Porras from being sworn in in accordance with the law. We also call on the international community to continue monitoring the human rights, justice, and rule of law situation in Guatemala and to support independent justice operators.
Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC)
Lawyers without borders Canada
Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF)
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Foundation for Justice and the Democratic Rule of Law (FJEDD)
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
ACTuando Juntas Program Jotay Guatemala
International Platform Against Impunity
Protection International Mesoamerica
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights