The ICJ condemns Guatemalan President’s decision not to renew mandate of the International Commission against Impunity

The ICJ today signed a joint statement with other international organizations based in Europe that cooperate on Guatemala condemning the decision of Jimmy Morales not to renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). 

The statement also repudiates the subsequent decision by President Morales to bar the CICIG Commissioner Iván Velásquez from returning back to the country.

The CICIG has made a significant contribution to the work of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against corruption networks.

The statement expresses grave concern that on 31 August 2018 the government used tanks and heavily armed policemen to intimidate CICIG personnel as well as Guatemalan citizens, while announcing the decision not to renew the mandate of the CICIG. “The image of President Jimmy Morales surrounded by the military and police at the press conference evokes the memory of the coup d’état and the military dictatorships during the dark years of the internal armed conflict,” the statement adds.

The organisations signing the statement call on the European Union and its Member States to demand that the state of Guatemala complies with its international obligations and guarantees the necessary conditions for Commissioner Iván Velásquez and the CICIG to continue their work safely and independently.

The full statement is available here: Guatemala-Statement on decision about CICIG and Velasquez-News-2018-ENG