Guatemala’s Attorney General Moves in a Dangerous Direction

Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arevalo attends a press conference outside the Supreme court, in Guatemala City, Guatemala November 16, 2023. REUTERS/Cristina Chiquin

By EFE / La Prensa

HAVANA TIMES – The president-elect of Guatemala, Bernardo Arevalo de Leon, repudiated on Thursday the new assaults of the Public Prosecutor’s Office against his electoral victory and members of his party and assured that the operators who promote these actions “are taking the country in a dangerous direction.”

“We woke up with a deep anger and sadness at the unjust detention of young people, students, teachers, and professionals who have demonstrated against a group of corrupt people who seek to take away our future,” said Arevalo de León during a press conference in front of the Supreme Court of the Central American country.

“Guatemala hurts because our institutions are in crisis,” added Arevalo at the decision of the Attorney General’s Office to issue 27 arrest warrants against members of his party, such as former congressional candidate Marcela Blanco, for an alleged case of pillage of state assets within the state university of Guatemala.

The Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Attorney General Consuelo Porras Argueta, also requested to waive the immunity of Arevalo de Leon and his vice-president, Karin Herrera, for this case presented this morning.

Arevalo described as “illegal” the measures requested by the Attorney General’s Office and warned that these actors intend to “perpetuate an authoritarian backlash.”

During the press conference, Arevalo was accompanied by members of his party, Movimiento Semilla, and dozens of students and demonstrators.

The investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office accuses the Semilla Movement of having participated in a takeover of the University of San Carlos facilities in 2022, causing damage to them and using these actions as a political platform.

Since last July, Porras Argueta’s Prosecutor’s Office has been trying to undo the electoral results using raids to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and criminal prosecution against public officials and members of the Semilla party.

The new investigation against Arevalo occurred even though the international community, including the Government of the United States and the European Union, have requested the cessation of the prosecution of the election results.

Since September 1, Guatemala’s president-elect has denounced that Porras Argueta is leading a “coup d’état” attempt to prevent him from taking office on January 14th.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.