A series of tweets from Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network highlight the challenges facing the rule of law and judicial independence that the elites are trying to disband. The tweets are accompanied by graphics, as above, containing more information about each point.
In Guatemala judges, prosecutors, and investigators involved in high-profile and precedent-setting cases are facing regular threats and unfounded charges against them due to their anti-corruption and transitional justice work.
Judges are asking for increased protection (including investigations into the harassment and threats they have faced) and dismissal of unfounded charges laid against them.
Judges facing impunity, intimidations, and violence include Yassmín Barrios, the presiding judge in Efraín Ríos Montt’s trial and landmark 2013 conviction for genocide, and the Sepur Zarco case.
Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez, who is presiding over the 36 Maya Achi Women’s case and the Death Squad Dossier case, has reported experiencing intimidation tactics commonly used during the Internal Armed Conflict.
Judge Pablo Xitumul has also experienced harassment and surveillance following important rulings.
Judge Erika Aifán, who has presided over high-profile corruption cases, has faced over 75 accusations. Aifán has called this systemic attack on her judicial independence a “form of harassment”.
Although these four judges have been granted precautionary measures by the The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the independence of Guatemala’s legal system and the personal safety of these judges remain at risk.
You can view the tweet thread, and the accompanying graphics, here, High-Risk Courts judges continue to face challenges.