In a joint statement delivered at the United Nations in Geneva, several civil society organizations, members of theObservatory of International Organizations on Guatemala, deeply regretted that the State of Guatemala has not accepted 81% of the recommendations aimed at guaranteeing judicial independence, resuming the fight against corruption and impunity, strengthen the justice system and stop the criminal and spurious persecution against justice operators, journalists, and human rights defenders,received during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The Observatory, which the ICJ is part of, denounced the increasing criminalization against prosecutors, judges, lawyers, and defenders, that is promoted by the Chief Prosecution Office as a strategy of intimidation and reprisal for the work carried out by independent prosecutors, judges and lawyers who work on cases of serious human rights violations and corruption. In addition, at least 35 justice operators, in charge of these high-profile cases, have been forced into exile due to persecution and lack of guarantees of fair trial in the country. Others have been suspended from their duties or were imprisoned.
“We urge Guatemala to implement the recommendations to immediately put an end to the misuse of the penal system to intimidate and persecute justice operators, human rights defenders, and journalists,” said Claudia Paz y Paz, director of the Central America Program and Mexico from the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) speaking at the UPR.
Please find the complete oral statement presented by the Observatory before the Human Rights Council on July 7 in the video below: