Following the expulsion of the UN anti-corruption commissioner Iván Velásquez by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, Transparency International is calling for his immediate reinstatement and for the investigations being carried out by his team of international experts to continue.
“This attempt to shut down justice cannot be countenanced. The United Nations commission has two more years in its mandate and it has measurable success in fighting corruption. President Morales cannot attempt to disrupt the course of its investigations. No one should be above the law; the Guatemalan people have recovered hope with the work of the commission; it must not be shut down,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.
The expulsion of Velásquez comes just days after Guatemala’s chief prosecutor asked the Supreme Court to lift President Morales’ immunity to answer questions about missing campaign finance funds. President Morales denies any wrongdoing.
The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, known as CICIG, was set up in 2006. It is politically neutral and has been efficient in its prosecution of corruption. It has prosecuted cases of corruption and fraud in politics and business and has succeeded in putting the corrupt behind bars.
“The international community has condemned this unilateral move to end the anti-corruption commission’s work. If President Morales does not stop these actions, the progress made to fight corruption in Guatemala will end. This cannot be allowed to happen. Already Guatemalans are protesting the president’s actions. Transparency International stands with them,” said Ugaz.
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