The United Nations and the United States have rejected the removal of an anti-corruption prosecutor in Guatemala


The United Nations and the United States have rejected the removal of an anti-corruption prosecutor in Guatemala: lack of commitment to the rule of law.

Juan Francisco Sandoval was forced to leave his post, which prompted Washington to suspend cooperation with the Public Ministry of that country. At the same time, the United Nations warned that the situation threatens the work of prosecutors in the country.

On Tuesday, the United States and the UN expressed concern about the situation of prosecutors in Guatemala after the dismissal and subsequent exit into exile of anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval.

In the case of the United States, after Washington condemns Sandoval's dismissal, on Tuesday, it announced that it would "temporarily" paralyze cooperation with the Guatemalan Public Ministry.

The deputy spokeswoman for the US State Department, Jalina Porter, warned that the US government "has lost confidence" in the head of the Guatemalan Public Ministry, Consuelo Porras, and in her decisions.

Sandoval, 38, was removed from his post on Friday by Porras, who argued alleged "abuses and frequent abuses" of the institution by the now-former prosecutor and denounced that she was the victim of alleged " humiliations ."

The US spokeswoman considered that the decision is part of a " pattern of behavior " and indicates "a lack of commitment to the rule of law and independent judicial and fiscal processes. "

According to Porter, the United States made it clear that the fight against corruption is "essential" to "strengthen the rule of law, increase economic opportunities, and address the root causes of irregular migration" to its territory.

The UN, for its part, expressed its concern on Tuesday about the situation of prosecutors in Guatemala.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq said in a press conference that the ability of the prosecution to carry out its duties without any threat or inappropriate interference is a must to avoid and prevent corruption and impunity.

Haq said it was a matter of grave concern that a growing number of former top prosecutors had had to leave the country since Cicig was closed.

The spokesperson said that the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called on the Guatemalan authorities to strengthen their work in favor of the rule of law and respect and ensure the people who participate in the justice system.

Sandoval was a key part of the fight against corruption in Guatemala, which also saw a sharp rise between 2014 and 2019 at the hands of the former Attorney General (2014-2018), Thelma Aldana, and the director of Colombian lawyer Ivan, Cicig. Was obtained Velocity

The investigation, led by Sandoval, Aldana, and Wellesky, uncovered dozens of cases of state corruption, involving more than 200 people, including ministers, officials, businessmen, and former presidents Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015) and Álvaro Colom Caballeros  (2008), has been revealed. -2012).