President Otto Pérez Molina extended the CICIG’s mandate in Guatemala against his will, as a desperate measure to alleviate a political crisis, and to hold off critics and accusations against him and Vice-president, Roxana Baldetti.
Carlos Arrazola has written a very interesting analysis of the events surrounding the apparent climb-down by the President and the possible future implications for the Vice-president.
On April 23, Pérez Molina announced his decision to extend the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) for two more years. The decision occurred in the midst of the most serious political crisis his administration has had to confront — the consequence of the dismantling of a criminal network that operated in the country’s customs agency.
He stated that his decision was based on the findings of a report commissioned to go into the matter. However, it has been suggested that this report was to bring a negative verdict, based on a ‘technical’ issue, and that it had been written some time before.
The events surrounding the revelation of the massive tax and customs fraud led by a Government insider and the crisis this unleashed, forced a radical change of plan regarding the extension of the CICIG mandate.