Canadians support CICIG’s work against corruption & impunity

On Friday, August 31st, President Jimmy Morales announced at a press conference, surrounded by military and police officers, that he would not be renewing the mandate of the CICIG, the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala. Hours earlier, an intimidating military presence was reported outside of the CICIG offices. As you may recall, last year Morales unsuccessfully tried to oust the CICIG Commissioner Ivan Velasquez from the country.

CICIG has played an instrumental role in supporting the Attorney General’s office in struggles against corruption and impunity in the country, including the La Linea customs fraud case which led to the arrest of former President Otto Perez Molina and VP Roxanna Baldetti, among others in the government. More recently, the Attorney General’s office has sought to investigate Morales and his party (FCN, National Convergence Front in English) for illicit campaign financing, though they have been blocked by Morales’ presidential immunity. Last week, Guatemala’s Supreme Court once again allowed a request brought by the Attorney General’s office andCICIG to strip Morales of his immunity to go to Congress for consideration. 

Guatemalans have been out demonstrating their support of CICIG and disagreement with Morales’ announcement. BTS Guatemala Coordinator Lisa Rankin shares coverage of Friday’s protest at Central Park, Guatemala City on Twitter and Facebook. Follow us there for updates! Also, here’s an article from the CBC: Guatemala president won’t renew UN anti-corruption commission investigating him.

BTS has signed the statement below by Canadian individuals and organizations in support of the CICIG’s work:

 

CANADIANS SUPPORT CICIG’S WORK AGAINST CORRUPTION AND IMPUNITY

The undersigned Guatemalans, Canadians and organizations that have closely followed and supported the struggle against corruption and impunity  in Guatemala, and observed the impact of the work of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has performed,  want to express our:

1)     Recognition and support to the valuable work that the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has carried out during its mandate. To name a few: dismantling La Linea, a criminal structure organized by former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, former Vice-President Roxana Baldetti and others, and prosecuting them for crimes of corruption, and more recently, presenting a legal case against the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales for illegal financing of his political party FCN during the last elections.

 2)     Rejection of the decision by the Guatemalan Government and Guatemalan Army not to renew the CICIG mandate, without considering the opinion of the Guatemalan people and the international community.

 3)     Indignation  against  the Morales’ government measures designed to block the CIGIG’s work such as the removal of well trained National Civilian Police top commanders, and the firing /removing  key people from the Historic National Police Archives, and confiscating the National Police archives,  transferring it  to the Ministry of Culture.

 4)     Condemnation of the intimidation that CICIG is receiving after the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his decision not to renew CICIG’s mandate. 

Therefore we demand that the Guatemalan Government:

1)     Stop the intimidation against CICIG members.

2)     Guarantee the safety of the CICIG’s personnel, especially for the CICIG’s Commissioner Ivan Velasquez Gomez.

3)     Renew the CICIG’s mandate.

4)     Stop the intimidation and persecution of human rights defenders and organizations standing against corruption and impunity in Guatemala.

Canada, September 02, 2018.

 

ALL FOR GUATEMALA / TODOS POR GUATEMALA, CANADA

AMANDLA CKUT RADIO PROGRAM CANADA

BTS MARITIMES-GUATEMALA BREAKING THE SILENCE NETWORK

ELDERS FOR ENVIROMENTAL JUSTICE CANADA

GUATEMALA COMMUNITY NETWORK, TORONTO

LATIN AMERICAN CANADIAN SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION, LONDON ON

OWL ELDERS FEMENIST CKUT RADIO PROGRAM CANADA

TZIJOLAJ GUATEMALA CANADA

WATERLOO REGION MAYAN PROJECT

WATERLOO REGION GUATEMALAN GROUP

Anne Schlenker, Montreal, Canada

Brisna Caxaj-Rowe, Montreal, Canada

David Kettle, Owen Sound, Canada

Douglas Miller, Montreal, Canada

Estephani Bautista, Montreal, Canada

Fraser Tumer, Shediac Bridge, Canada

Gerald Ernest Rowe, Montreal, Canada   

Jackie McVicar, Tatamagouche, Canada  

John MacPhail, Upper Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada

Julio Ceren, Toronto, Canada  

Kathryn Anderson, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada

Kristine Johnston, PEI, Canada

Larry Towell, Bothwell, Ontario, Canada

Leo Cheverie, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Marcela Bautista, Gatineau, Canada

Marcella Braggio, Montreal, Canada

Mary Ellen Davis, Montreal, Canada

Marie-France Arismendi, London ON

Nery Espinoza, Toronto, ON

Robert McBryde, Montreal, Canada

Rose Marie Whalley, Montreal, Canada

Ruth Innis, Cable Head East, PIE, Canada

Sandra Hernández, Ottawa, Canada

Sarah Armstrong, Antigonish NS

Tito Medina, Ottawa, Canada  

Wilf Bean, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada

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