Jordán Rodas Andrade, the Guatemala Human Rights’ Ombudsman wrote the following to Kamala Harris, the U.S. Vice-President on her visit to Guatemala.
Your Excellency Madam Vice President:
I am pleased to address you certain that your visit to Guatemala is good news to all, but specially to those hopeless of us that have no choice but to leave the country, even though their desire is to remain beside their family. Your visit is also good news, for people and organizations that oppose serious injustices, and believe you are an important ally to restrain the consolidation of a corporate dictatorship that is responsible for a new diaspora of political refugees and asylum seekers.
Since the dismantling of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in September of 2019, Guatemala has experienced accelerated setbacks in human rights. A climate of persecution has been established against dissidents: human rights defenders, social and political leaders, journalists, and social communicators, as well as independent judges and prosecutors; reminiscing the military dictatorships that we believed eradicated at the end of the 20th century. The Human Rights Ombudsman Office is being financially suffocated by this regime, as a result, by August 2021 we will be in a state of paralysis and have no economic resources to continue our mission.
Unlike other countries, in which a charismatic caudillo concentrates all power and cancels democratic freedoms, in Guatemala this is caused by the permanent networks of corruption and crime, and the members of a certain predatory oligarchy, who are shaping the system to impose their president like a mafia operator.
Under these conditions, it is impossible to expect real progress in the fight against corruption and to remove the roots that cause irregular migration. Your government, Madam Vice President, must not tolerate any extortion from the corporate dictatorship. The only way for Guatemala to have stability and progress, and not fall into a failed State, and permanent insecurity, is to persistently pressure the Guatemalan Government to comply with international Human Rights State commitments and fight against corruption and organized crime.
Jordán Rodas Andrade
Human Rights Ombudsman
Guatemala, June 6, 2021
You can read more here, including a version in Spanish, 88/21 Carta abierta a la señora Kamala Harris, vicepresidenta de los Estados Unidos de América