The OAS mission in Guatemala will continue despite the suspension of the transition process: tension is rising between Almagro and the Prosecutor

At the last meeting of the OAS Mission in Guatemala with Prosecutor Consuelo Porras, Secretary General Luis Almagro was recorded without warning by the Public Ministry. Photo: MP

(Washington, United States) The last hours in Guatemala They were disturbed again. The week started well, but within a few hours it got off track. On Monday, the president-elect Bernardo Arevalo The second transitional meeting was held with the Acting President, Alejandro Giamatti, where he obtained a lot of first-hand information with data about the administration. All this is observed by the Secretary-General Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.

Twenty-four hours later, everything good about that meeting was gone. The prosecution On Tuesday, security forces raided the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Court They began to open the boxes in which the votes were storedThis is something that the Organization of American States, the elected government, and the Court itself considered a matter A direct attack on democracy

Guatemala’s electoral law stipulates that the only body authorized to administer votes is the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and this raid, carried out by officials in the prosecutor’s office accused of corruption, represents another blow to an electoral process that has been highly controversial due to judicial interference.

Bernardo Arevalo (Reuters/Cristina Chicoin)

On the night of that same day, Arevalo called a press conference in which he considered that the events carried out by the Public Prosecution (MP) at the facilities of the Tokyo Stock Exchange were part of an operation “The coup is underway.”

there The President-elect requested the resignation of Prosecutor Consuelo Porras, as well as the Prosecutor who carried out these procedures, Rafael Corochici, and Judge Freddy Orellana. Who contributed to these movements? Boras, Corochichi and Orellana are on a US blacklist that identifies corrupt officials in the region and are banned from entering the North American country.

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“Guatemalans, the coup plotters must resign,” Arevalo said in a press conference. “Prosecutor Consuelo Porras, Public Prosecutor Rafael Corroche and Judge Freddy Orellana, in a harmful association, have created a new escalation in the developing coup.”

What surprised some diplomatic officials in Washington who are closely following what is happening in Guatemala regarding the actions of the president-elect is: The decision to suspend the transitional period. This, in particular, poses a challenge to the Organization of American States.

The President-elect of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, with the outgoing President, Alejandro Giammattei, and the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, at the second transitional meeting held on Monday, September 11 (Presidency of Guatemala)

The organization, which is promoted by the United States and countries such as Canada, Chile, Antigua and Barbuda and others, has paid close attention to what is happening in the Central American country. After several sessions of the Permanent Council in which the situation was analyzed, in August the countries issued a unanimous statement condemning what they considered to be “intimidation” by the Prosecutor General’s Office against the Supreme Electoral Court and the elected government.

Following this decision, the Organization of American States began a new monitoring mission to monitor the transition process. Almagro is leading that mission and was in the country to attend the meetings between Giamatti and Arevalo.

As explained by L information Organization sources, The mission led by Almagro will continue despite the halt of the transition process.

The informants pointed to the Organization of American States, It will continue to monitor and control the transition process even if there are no meetings between the interim president and the president-elect. One source estimated that the mission, on the contrary, would have to double the meetings, in order to maintain contacts both with Giamatti and his government team, and with Arevalo.

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Tension between Almagro and prosecutors increased after last week, in a meeting they held on Tuesday, September 5. The Secretary-General was registered without prior notice by Guatemalan officials. When they told him, the secretary-general got up and left the meeting, Kurochichi said on Tuesday.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, with the unanimous consent of all the countries of the Americas, had asked Almagro to meet again with the representative to confirm to the prosecutors that “the importance of the separation of powers is essential to the exercise of democracy and democracy.” Using the legal system as a tool of intimidation and improperly changing election results is unacceptable.

Almagro went with this letter and the plaintiffs responded at the meeting and afterward. After the meeting, Boras made a statement to the press, in which he did not accept questions, and said that “no authority can be considered intimidation.”

But the most tense thing happened during that meeting, as it turned out later. Corochici rebuked Almagro for the OAS’s skeptical attitude towards his work. “His position seems very reckless to me and I interpret it as a clear interference in the constitutional mandate given to the Public Prosecution Service.“Korochichi told him, according to a video of the meeting posted by the prosecutor’s office on TikTok.

“I interpret this as a clear interference in the constitutional mandate that the Public Ministry has to investigate, like someone saying they are not investigating Simela, this is not worth it, Secretary, I tell you this with the greatest respect, the investigation will continue.” Kurochishi insisted that the investigation would continue “to follow the constitutional mandate that we have.”

Tensions have increased between the OAS and the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office after a recent meeting in which the Secretary-General registered without prior notice.

As shown in another video posted by the representative, Almagro responded to him. He raised his hand and asked to speak “on a point of order” and said: “That was never asked. “We never asked that no one be investigated.” He can be heard in the video clip that the Public Prosecutor’s Office translated and released.

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Then you hear, in a better voice because the prosecutor had a microphone, Kurochichi’s response. “Yes, that’s how I explain it.”The prosecutor said.

“You can’t explain it because I’m explicitly telling you no.” Almagro said, clearly annoyed.

When the OAS Secretary-General discovered he was being recorded without permission, he got up and left the meeting, Kurochichi said Monday.

After the raid on Tuesday the 12th of some offices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange where election votes were kept, the prosecutor alluded to Almagro again. He said that his office would soon present alleged evidence against the Simela movement, and that he would like the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States to be present.

“We would like to have Mr. Luis Almagro present at this meeting, when we present these results, as well as other actors from society, so if the fight is against corruption and impunity, well, it must start with us.” Kurochichi said after the raid, according to what he said Free press.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Rafael Corrocheci (AP Photo/Moisés Castillo)

On Tuesday night, the Organization of American States’ monitoring mission issued a new statement condemning the raids and the opening of ballot boxes.

“These actions constitute further evidence that the Public Ministry, far from adjusting its procedures to democratic standards, has intensified the strategy of discrediting the electoral process and intimidating electoral authorities, election officials and thousands of people who, with enormous civil commitment, conducted two days of voting,” the OAS said. Peaceful and transparent.

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