The President of the Congress of the Republic and an ally of the ruling party, Shirley Rivera, indicated in a press conference that, on October 5, she received notification that the United States had canceled her visa to enter that country.
On October 31, the US State Department indicated that the visas of more than a dozen Guatemalan officials and their immediate family members would be revoked due to their alleged anti-democratic actions.
The action taken by the US authorities against Rivera came several days before the aforementioned agency issued its announcement at the end of last October.
Cancellation of visa
As the congresswoman put it, in response to questions from a La Hora reporter who covers Congress, “On October 5, I was notified via email that according to their criteria, I was no longer eligible for a visa.”
The head of the legislative body also confirmed that “rumors are all that is said,” regarding what was published about her on social media since last week.
Regarding whether the cancellation was due to alleged acts of corruption, he said: “I read that they withdrew visas due to undemocratic procedures, but I don’t know. They did not give any further explanation.It justified why the United States took this decision against it.
Rivera came to Congress in 2020 with the official VAMOS party, which nominated Alejandro Giammattei as president in the 2019 elections. The opposition accused the legislature of obeying the executive branch.
President-elect Bernardo Arevalo accused her of being part of those responsible for planning a coup so that he would not take office in January 2024.
On October 31, the US State Department announced, through a statement, that it had applied the procedure under Section 121 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to impose visa restrictions on more than a dozen people and their immediate family members, allegedly undermining democracy and the rule of law in Guatemala.
So far, the names of the people who have been sanctioned by withdrawing their entry permit to the United States have not been revealed.
All of them have been declared as “anti-democratic actors.” The memorandum refers to actions taken by the Public Ministry (MP), led by Attorney General María Consuelo Porras, against the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to “undermine the transitional process” of the government.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on his account on the social networking site X: “The Guatemalan people have spoken and their voices must be respected. “We are taking new steps to strengthen the accountability of anti-democratic actors in the public and private sectors who continue to undermine the results of the free and fair elections held on August 20.”