WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
12 Sep 2023 | Joint Statement

Guatemala: Freedom for Claudia González

The Americas, September 12, 2023. The undersigned international organizations condemn the criminalization, persecution and unfounded apprehension of human rights lawyer Claudia González Orellana, former official of the International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), trial lawyer and defender of criminalized anti-corruption prosecutors such as Juan Francisco Sandoval and Virginia Laparra.

It is regrettable that the Public Ministry of Guatemala continues to act arbitrarily and criminalize the practice of law of Claudia González Orellana without any legal basis, affecting the right of defense of dozens of prosecutors who have been falsely accused, hindering their cases, in addition to being an act of intimidation and retaliation against attorney González Orellana for doing her job. It is concerning that, far from stopping these authoritarian practices, the policy of selective persecution implemented by the Public Ministry continues to escalate, especially against independent justice officials, journalists, litigants and human rights defenders who have worked in the fight against corruption and impunity and in the defense of human rights in the country.

It is inadmissible that, nine days after the arrest of attorney Claudia González Orellana, on the day of the first statement hearing, the case brought against her was declared under reserve, thus violating the guarantees of due process by unjustifiably failing to comply with the principle of publicity which, as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has pointed out, “has the function of proscribing the secret administration of justice, submitting it to the scrutiny of the parties and the public and is related to the need for transparency and impartiality of the decisions taken”.

We call for the immediate release of Claudia González Orellana and for the State of Guatemala to comply with its international human rights obligations, to respect due process and to guarantee the integrity of this human rights lawyer.



Acción Solidaria


American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Amnesty International

Article 19 Oficina para México y Centroamérica

Citizen Articulation Transparency and Justice (ACTJ)

Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos – APRODEH

Be Just

Cadena Derechos Humanos Honduras (CADEHO)

Women’s Rights Center, CDM

Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center

Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)

Center for the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their Families (CPTRT)

Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Género – Corporación Humanas Chile

Civilis Derechos Humanos

Colectivo de Abogados y Abogadas “José Alvear Restrepo” (CAJAR)

Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)

Cross Border Network

Demus Estudio para la defensa de los derechos de la mujer

Disonancias Radio

Elige Red de Jóvenes por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos A.C.

Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC-SJ)

Equipo Jurídico por los Derechos Humanos

Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF)

Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD)

Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA (GHRC)

Honduras Delegation

Impunity Watch

Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders

Legal Defense Institute – IDL

International Service for Human Rights

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)


Latin America Caribbean Working Group of Mass Peace Action

Latín America Task Force of Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice

Latin American Working Group (LAWG)

Mujeres Libres COLEM AC

Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia

Organización Ayudamos Honduras

Protection International Mesoamerica


Red Rompe el Miedo Guatemala

Red Solidaria de Derechos Humanos

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Tejiendo Redes Infancia en América Latina y el Caribe

Women’s Link Worldwide