Guatemalan Congress refuses to appoint graft-fighting top judge

We are deeply concerned by today’s maneuver to delay the swearing in of a selected constitutional court magistrate. This undermines Guatemala’s commitment to an independent judiciary and addressing systemic corruption,” Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung.

Sofía Menchú writes in Reuters about the latest attempts by the Guatemala Congress to protect the interests of the corrupt elites that govern the country.

14th April Guatemala City

Guatemala’s Congress refused to appoint a graft-fighting judge as president of the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, a move critics say could set back the fight against corruption.

Magistrate Gloria Porras is one of Central America’s leading figures in the fight for the rule of law and efforts to combat impunity. However, she has long drawn the ire of some politicians and business groups for decisions at the court they consider to be anti-investment.

Over her decade on the bench, Porras voted against the expulsion of a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body; against the decision to vacate ex-dictator Efraín Rios Montt’s genocide conviction; and in favor of the rights of indigenous people to be consulted about extractive projects built in their territory.

“It’s clear to me that there is collusion to not let me take up the seat. I have been an independent judge, and being an independent judge in this country brings this type of action,” she told reporters while leaving the Congressional building.

You can read the full article here, Guatemalan Congress refuses to appoint graft-fighting top judge.

Categories: Corruption, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Legal, Lobbying, Solidarity in Action

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