By Lisa Rankin, BTS Guatemala Coordinator
On September 24, members of Congress voted to create an Anti-CICIG Commission with the sole purpose of criminally prosecuting employees of the CICIG (Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala) for the cases they brought forward during their mandate in Guatemala which ended in early September. However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office put forward an appeal to Guatemala’s Constitutional Court which ruled in favor, finding the Anti-CICIG Commission to be unconstitutional. Since the Constitutional Court ruling on October 7, civil society groups have denounced the 83 members of Congress who voted in favour of forming the Anti-CICIG Commission for abuse of authority. Read more in this article from Sandra Cuffe.
Many of those same members of Congress have been working hard to remove Jordan Rodas as the country’s Human Rights Ombudsperson, who has been critical of the government’s attacks on CICIG. Rodas responded to the call for dismissal stating, “my conscious is clear.” The Human Rights Ombudsperson’s Office has also spoken out about threats to their financing, seen as a form of punishment by Congress and the Ministry of Finances, which challenge the Office’s ability to function.
Rodas put forward a legal action in the Supreme Court calling for the funds that had been previously cut by Congress, an amount of 30 million quetzales, to be sent to the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s office. While the Supreme Court had initially ruled in favour of Rodas, they revoked that provisional injunction on October 23rd. Rodas will appeal this decision at Guatemala’s Constitutional Court.
We’ll continue to share updates on this these troubling attacks.