US sanctions on two Guatemalan politicians — one a political operator and the other an influential legislator — are the latest salvo by Washington to show it is serious about taking on corruption in Central America.
Alex Papadovassilakis writes in InSight Crime about the the U.S. government’s designation of two Guatemalan politicians.
The sanctions, announced by the US State Department on April 26, were placed on Gustavo Alejos Cámbara and Felipe Alejos Lorenzana for their alleged interference in the selection of judges to Guatemala’s Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia — CSJ) and Court of Appeals.
Alejos Cámbara — private secretary to former president Álvaro Colom (2008-2012) and a powerful political operator — is currently jailed on corruption charges and is accused of running the influence-peddling scheme.
He and Alejos Lorenzana — a congressman — are accused of bribing legislators and judges to influence judicial appointments and to secure rulings favorable to them and others, according to a statement released by the US Treasury.
Both were penalized under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the US to freeze their assets and generally prohibit people in the United States from doing business with them, according to the Treasury Department.
You can read the full piece here, Washington Cracks Down on Guatemala Corruption.
Meanwhile, the UK government has this to say about their designation of Felipe Alejos, ‘In his official capacity, Felipe Alejos Lorenzana served as an intermediary for corrupt officials in a largescale corruption scandal involving Guatemala’s Tax Administration. His conduct undermined democracy, the rule of law and good governance in Guatemala. Sanctions include assets freeze and travel ban‘.
You can read the full post here, UK sanctions Guatemalan Congressman under new global anti-corruption regime.