Persecution in Guatemala: The Public Prosecutor’s Office arrests former anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval

Attorney Claudia Gonzalez was arrested in Guatemala

The lawyer was arrested by the Guatemalan Public Ministry (Attorney General’s Office) on Monday Claudia Gonzalezadvocate for former anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, who is in exile in the United States.

According to what was reported by the Attorney General Gonzalez’s office He worked as an official in the International Committee against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), which is now charged with the offense of abuse of power in the proceedings carried out in the criminal prosecution against Supreme Court Justice Blanca Stalling.

“This is a completely false accusation,” Gonzalez told the media when she was transferred to the judicial branch in the Guatemalan capital.

“Since last year I have been prepared because there are several cases against me,” Gonzalez declared upon her transfer. “They are violating my constitutional rights.”

Gonzalez’s operation and detention were carried out by the Public Ministry’s Attorney General for Internal Affairs, an institution whose leadership is run by agents sanctioned by the US State Department for “undermining justice and corruption.”

currently, Gonzalez served as defense attorney for former Attorney General Sandoval and four other former justice officials who denounced political persecution for their work investigating corruption and structures of impunity between 2014 and 2020.

“I regret that the Public Ministry continues this and we already know that it is typical for them to use the system to keep us in prison,” Gonzalez added.

next to, The Public Prosecutor’s Office raided the home of the parents of former Public Prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval.

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Sandoval rejected the actions of the public prosecutor’s office and asserted that they were “terrorizing my parents, who are both elderly” in alleged cases to which they had nothing to do.

Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis AlmagroHe condemned the raids.

Former Guatemalan anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval went into exile in the United States after persecution in his country over an investigation into government corruption (EFE/Esteban Biba)

Actions like that have been deplored [por Sandoval] And they lose their credibility in justice and its work. Our condemnation and our call to respect institutions and to be guided by the principles and pillars of the rule of law.”

In this context, the Secretary-General of the United Nations stressed, Anthony GuterresHe also expressed his concern: “The Secretary-General notes with concern reports regarding recent raids and arrest warrants against Guatemalan prosecutors and former CICIG official Claudia González. He notes the important contributions made by dedicated justice officials, and over the course of Their work, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala and its staff, is in the fight against impunity and corruption.

As a lawyer, Gonzalez has now defended the former anti-Mafia prosecutor Virginia LabarraHe was sentenced last year to four years in prison for abuse of power in a controversial trial that was criticized by the United States and the European Union.

From 2019 to date, at least 50 Guatemalans, including public prosecutors, judges, lawyers, journalists and activists, have been forced into exile, after being found guilty of political persecution against them by the Attorney General’s Office, which runs the country’s affairs. Consuelo Porras.

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The Guatemalan attorney general’s office has come under fire in the country and abroad for interfering in the recently ended electoral process, opening an investigation against Social Democratic deputy Bernardo Arevalo’s Similla party with the express aim of preventing it from winning the January 20 presidential runoff. August. Arevalo is now the elected president of Guatemala.

(With info from EFE and AFP)

Read on:

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The United Nations expressed concern about “attempts to undermine” the election results in Guatemala
The Organization of American States questioned the Guatemalan Attorney General for a new attempt to cast doubt on the election result

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