he European Parliament This Thursday, he expressed his “concern” about “legal procedures that go beyond the electoral process” in the country Guatemala Who seek to prevent the inauguration in January of the progressive president elected in the June 25 election Bernardo arevalo de león, After a week of protests in which thousands of Guatemalans supported the defense of democracy.
“We have many concerns about these attempts to undermine and discredit the election results.”Deputy Head of the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Section of the European External Action Service (EEAS), noted: Duccio BandiniThis took place during a session of the Delegation for Relations with Central American Countries in the European Parliament.
The community representative stated that “legal procedures” had been implemented in the country and “Legal processes that go beyond the electoral process itself.” He added: “We have to be concerned, and above all, be very attentive to what comes after the end of the official electoral process, because they Measures aimed at preventing the inauguration of the president in January“, he commented.
Bandini expressed confidence that the country would complete its democratic transition despite being framed in a “context of deterioration”: “Everything that is happening reflects pressure and control of part of the judicial system by external individuals and external elites.”He pointed out.
Likewise, it was stated that it is located in a “broader climate of persecution, witch-hunting and intimidation” that is clearly visible on social networks and reflects “An instability that deserves all the attention.”
From the European Parliament, Bandini confirmed that they are preserving their rights In support of the president-elect and to “the process of strengthening its institutions” and “much-needed social and economic development.”
For his part, the head of the European Union election observation mission, a member of the European Parliament, said: Jordi KanasHe stressed that its shipment was “essential in the development of some Historic elections“.
He said that “in a deteriorating climate,” the elections were able to “develop flawlessly” thanks to citizens’ “commitment and defense of democracy.”
He also intervened via video Samuel PerezThe deputy and secretary-general of the Similla movement, to which Arevalo belongs, confirmed this In Guatemala, “a coup is underway.”
“Over the past decades in our country it has been established and consolidated A system of corruption and impunityHe stressed that this not only brought negative consequences on the social, economic and political aspects, but also that the process of progress towards tyranny accelerated more strongly.
Peres said they live “under a system of corruption and impunity” and that the government is pursuing an “agenda of political persecution.”
Last week, the European Parliament’s plenary session criticized in its resolution the attempts of the Public Ministry (Public Prosecutor’s Office) of Guatemala to “reverse the result” of the elections in which Arevalo won a “clear” victory.
Specifically, he denounced Raids carried out by the Office of the Special Anti-Impunity Prosecutor on the offices of the Supreme Electoral Court, In addition to opening ballot boxes cast in the general elections and seizing computer materials related to the transmission of preliminary electoral results, as this undermines the integrity of the electoral process.
Members of the European Parliament also expressed Concerned about arbitrary arrests Prosecutors, judges, independent journalists, human rights defenders and former officials of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.
On the other hand, the massive protests in support of President-elect Bernardo Arevalo this week indicate that efforts by some officials to block his presidency have awakened a new determination among many citizens to defend democracy.
Public demonstrations against the Attorney General’s maneuvers were modest during the month following Arevalo’s landslide victory. but Thousands of people held a peaceful march on Monday in the city’s streets, and on Tuesday demonstrators blocked major highways in several parts of the country.
In the past, Guatemala was among the worst-rated countries in Latin America for its support of democracy, according to a UN report. Americas scaleWhich measured attitudes in the region over three decades. Over the past 15 years, support for democracy as the best form of government reached a high of 62.9% in 2014, and fell to a low of 48.4% in 2017.
Just weeks before this year’s elections, just 48% of respondents said democracy was the best form of government, putting Guatemala last in the region, according to researchers’ as-yet-unpublished data from Columbia University’s LAPOP lab. Vanderbilt Universitywhich is conducting the survey.
But since the election, Guatemalans have seen efforts by the defeated parties and the prosecutor’s office to challenge the results. Arevalo described the investigations with his party and the electoral authorities as a coup attempt, and the mission of observers Organization of American States He said prosecutors’ actions appeared aimed at preventing Arevalo from taking office.
The main goal of this week’s protests was: Prosecutor Consuelo Borras. “Consuelo’s resignation,” demonstrators chanted on Monday. Guatemalans’ trust in the prosecutor’s office has declined steadily since peaking in 2017, falling this year to 42%, according to the Americas Barometer.
Boras took office in 2018, and In 2021, the US government imposed sanctions on it for undemocratic practices and undermining anti-corruption investigations. She denied these accusations.
Boras’ office is conducting ongoing investigations into how the Arévalo Similla movement collected the necessary signatures for registration a few years ago, as well as into Accusations of election fraud that independent observers believe are unfounded.
Arevalo is one of those who believe that democracy in the country is on a slippery slope, but he believes that has changed since the elections. The president-elect said in a recent interview that more people are now “betting” on democracy Associated Press.
“In a way, this corrupt country that we lived in, under the institutional forms of democracy, the practices of authoritarian governments and peoples began to see that this does not lead to anything,” Arevalo said.
(With information from EFE and AP)