Composition of New Guatemalan Constitutional Court

Peace Brigades International recently posted about the composition if the new Constitutional Court in Guatemala – here is a summary.


On March 10, 2021, appointments to the Constitutional Court were complete.

Five titular, or permanent, judges and five alternate judges comprise the court.

Appointed by the Executive Body – President Alejandro Giammattei and Council of Ministers:

Leyla Lemus, Titular Magistrate – accused by the CICIG of obstructing justice for coordinating the departure from the country of the main suspect in the murder of Victor Rivera, and in her position at the General Secretariat of the Presidency, where she has been investigated by the Attorney General’s Office for conspiring against the Board of Directors of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS).
Juan José Samayoa, Alternate Magistrate.
Appointed by the Legislative Body – The plenary of deputies of the Congress:

Dina Ochoa, Titular Magistrate – During her tenure as a titular judge on the Constitutional Court, Ochoa consistently departed from the majority, favouring actions to protect then-President Jimmy Morales, who was under investigation by CICIG. She opposed an appeal that would have allowed the Supreme Court to issue a new resolution on the removal of the immunity of Congressman Felipe Alejos, accused in the Trafficking of Influence case.

Luis Rosales, Alternate Magistrate.

Appointed by the Judicial Body – The plenary of magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice:

Roberto Molina Barreto, Titular Magistrate – In 2019, he ran as vice president with Zury Ríos, presidential candidate of the Valor party, whose candidacy was invalidated by the CC. In 2013, when Molina Barreto was also serving on the CC, he voted to overturn Ríos Montt’s genocide conviction.

Walter Paulino Jiménez, Alternate Magistrate.

Elected by the Guatemalan Bar Association – the General Assembly of the Bar Association of Guatemala:

Néster Vásquez Pimentel, Titular Magistrate – Is a member of the Supreme Court of Justice. According to FECI, he is accused, along with others, rigging the nomination of candidates for the Appeals Chambers. He filed a criminal complaint against two prominent human rights defenders who had presented a complaint against him and other Supreme Court justices, linked to the justices’ efforts to remove the immunity of several Constitutional Court judges, based on how the CC judges had ruled.

Claudia Paniagua, Alternate Magistrate.

Elected by USAC – The Superior University Council of the University of San Carlos elected:

Gloria Porras, Titular Magistrate – Credited with modernizing the processes in the CC. She has been threatened with legal action because of her rulings on the Constitutional Court.

Rony Eulalio López, Alternate Magistrate.


You can read the full article, including links, here, Composition of New Guatemalan Constitutional Court. There is also a link to more data on the individuals in República.gt.

For more background on this, and its importance for justice in Guatemala, you can read this, Very High Stakes – Elections to the Constitutional Court.



Categories: Corruption, Criminalisation, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Justice, Legal, Lobbying, Solidarity in Action

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