In Guatemala, Corruption Is at the Heart of an Escalating Political Crisis

People protest against a decision by then-President Jimmy Morales to shut down the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, in Guatemala City, Sept. 1, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).
People protest against a decision by then-President Jimmy Morales to shut down the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, in Guatemala City, Sept. 1, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

During its 12 years of existence, the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, pursued corruption investigations into high-level political players and business figures. The commission’s efforts resulted in hundreds of arrests and indictments, including of a former president, Otto Perez Molina, and his vice president, in 2015. CICIG’s work also helped build anti-corruption-related capacity and expertise among Guatemala’s legal community. But CICIG was forced to shut down last year after then-President Jimmy Morales refused to renew its mandate. Since then, many judges and prosecutors have faced a campaign of harassment, verbal attacks and death threats, forcing […]

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