Guatemala: ICJ and others call on UN High Commissioner Bachelet to act following governments move to shut down International Commission against Impunity

On 14 September 2018, the ICJ joined 67 other international and Guatemalan civil society organizations in a letter to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to express grave concern about recent developments to curtail anti-impunity efforts in the country.

These include President Jimmy Morales’ decision on 31 August 2018 not to extend the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); the Guatemalan authorities’ subsequent decision on 4 September 2018 to prohibit the re-entry into the country of the CICIG’s Commissioner Iván Velásquez; and judicial reforms adopted by Congress on 6 September 2018 that threaten to undermine the independence of the judiciary and the function of the Constitutional Court judges and the office of the Human Rights Ombudsman.

The signatories welcomed the High Commissioner’s critical reference of these developments in her opening remarks to the 39th session of the Human Rights Council.

They asked that the High Commissioner give continued support in the fight against corruption and impunity in Guatemala and called on her to press the Guatemalan authorities to adopt necessary measures to facilitate compliance with the mandate of the CICIG under the terms of the Agreement signed between Guatemala and the United Nations.

The letter is available here (in Spanish): Guatemala-Letter to Michelle Bachelet-News-2018-SPA