The president of Guatemala Jimmy Morales has finally freed himself of the UN anti-corruption mission this week, which is too closely involved in the reports of his election campaign.
Despite international criticism and internal protests, the Guatemalan foreign minister Sandra Jovel announced in New York Monday to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that his country was ending unilaterally "within 24 hours", to the mission of the International Commission against the corruption and impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), accused of having exceeded its mandate at the expense of national "sovereignty".
Guterres protested against the decision of Guatemala, saying that the UN mission was established by an international treaty in 2007.
However, the Guatemalan business community and right-wing parties supported President Morales, accepting that the CICIG has overstepped its mission and that the decision to close it is in line with the country's constitution.
– "Breakdown of the institutional order" –
For their part, human rights organizations, indigenous peoples and universities have asked the government to reconsider its decision.
The Mayan politician Rigoberta Menchu, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, denounced President Morales's "unilateral" decision, saying that it is "the umpteenth sign of the gradual rupture of the institutional order and the rule of law" . She praised the work of the CICIG against corruption and for "strengthening the judicial system and democracy in Guatemala".
Defender Jordan Rodas appealed against the decision in the Constitutional Court.
As for Erika Guevara-Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas, she condemned this "last blow to the fight against impunity, showing the worrying lack of will to realize an independent judiciary system that guarantees the rights of the people of Guatemala ".
– Weapons –
The stalemate between President Morales and the UN mission went on for a year and a half, after the CICIG and the prosecutor's office had asked, in the summer of 2017, the revocation of the presidential immunity to investigate suspicions of financing. election campaign during the 2015 campaign.
Tensions between the head of state and the UN mission began in 2016, when Jimmy Morales' brother and son were charged with tax evasion and money laundering.
During an initial serious skirmish in August 2017, the right-wing leader accused the head of the CICIG, the former Colombian judge Iván Velásquez, of having exceeded his duties and ordered his deportation. The measure had been blocked by the Constitutional Court, as was the similar decision taken last September … But this time, the head of the UN mission was out of Guatemala and did not return.
On 18 December, the country withdrew immunity from 11 mission investigators and ordered their deportation. They left Guatemala officially for the holidays. One of them showed up on January 5 at the border. He was stuck at the airport until the constitutional court decided the next day to allow him to pass.