Transparency International condemns President Morales’ attempt to stop anti-corruption fight

President accused of intimidation against people and institutions fighting corruption

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: ES


Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, has revoked the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity of the United Nations in Guatemala (CICIG), the UN-sponsored body charged with assisting national corruption investigations. Working with national authorities since 2007, the International Commission has had significant success in prosecuting numerous high-level corruption cases.

The president made the announcement while surrounded by military and police leaders, with media reporting the simultaneous deployment of the military to the offices of CICIG. The move comes at a time when the Guatemalan Congress has started preliminary hearings against President Morales over campaign financing irregularities, and is another attempt to attack and weaken the fight against corruption in the country.

The decision does not have national or international support, with a recent survey showing that 70% of Guatemalans trust the work of CICIG. Indeed, CICIG has produced excellent results, dismantling networks of corruption in the country. The Attorney General of Guatemala, national counterpart of the CICIG, has said that she will be watchful the consequences for the justice system and the fight against impunity and corruption that would follow the non-renewal of the mandate of the Commission.

Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, said, "The announcement by President Morales not to renew the mandate of CICIG, represents a severe blow against transparency and integrity in Guatemala and throughout Latin America. CICIG has been a model in the fight against corruption. The fact that the President made the announcement surrounded by military officials and the deployment of military forces near the offices of CICIG are an attempt at intimidation. It is very dangerous to involve the military in political and judicial issues.

"Transparency International recognizes the excellent work and results of the CICIG, fully supports its continuation in Guatemala, and expresses its solidarity with Commissioner Iván Velázquez. This is a political decision that will only benefit the corrupt, who will be able to act with impunity while ordinary Guatemalans continue to suffer from endemic corruption."

This decision is the continuation of a series of attempts by the President and his allies to stop the fight against corruption, reduce freedom of expression and constrain civil society organisations. Manfredo Marroquin, President of Acción Ciudadana, Transparency International's chapter in Guatemala, was the victim of political harassment by the Congress of the Republic in April 2018. Transparency International is very concerned about the trend towards undermining democratic norms, the result of which is the proliferation of corruption, impunity and authoritarianism.

Transparency International urges he United Nations and the international community to show energetic support to the fight against corruption in Guatemala, and to support the continued role and independence of the CICIG.


For any press enquiries please contact

Paul Bell
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 (0)30 34 38 20 666

Latest

Support Transparency International

Asylum for Sale: Refugees say some U.N. workers demand bribes for resettlement

A 7-month investigation found reports of UN staff members exploiting refugees desperate for a safe home in a new country. By Journalists for Transparency reporter Sally Hayden.

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption

The globalisation of world trade and finance has been accompanied by an internationalisation of corruption. The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group therefore has the potential to be a very important partner in the fight for a more just world.

Venezuela: Se necesitan instituciones sólidas para abordar la delincuencia organizada

La corrupción en las más altas esferas del Gobierno venezolano ha causado inestabilidad social y económica extrema y ha debilitado a las instituciones estatales que deberían proteger a la ciudadanía. Las redes de delincuencia organizada actúan con impunidad en todo el país.

Venezuela: Strong institutions needed to address organised crime

Corruption in the top echelons of the Venezuelan government has led to extreme instability and weak state institutions, and allows organised crime networks to act with impunity all across the country.

The trillion dollar question: the IMF and anti-corruption one year on

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made public commitments and adopted a new framework to address corruption - we check how the IMF is progressing with this one year later.

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon

The explosive Pulitzer Prize-winning global media project known as the "Panama Papers" turned three years old, and there are many reasons to celebrate.

Call for papers: the Global Asset Registry workshop – Paris, July 1-2

ICRICT, the World Inequality Lab project, Tax Justice Network, and Transparency International are co-hosting a workshop to develop the framework for a Global Asset Registry in Paris on July 1-2. The organisers wish to invite original, high-quality papers for presentation.

Troika Laundromat signals a different kind of financial crisis

The Troika Laundromat investigation shines a spotlight on a cast of new and familiar characters in the ongoing saga surrounding flows of dirty money through the world’s financial system.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media