Guatemala would like to have the United Nations corruption investigator team out of the country much sooner than agreed. The government ended the mandate of the United Nations Commission against Impunity (CICIG), said the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel yesterday (local time) in New York. The agreement between the UN and Guatemala must be terminated within 24 hours.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decisively rejected the decision of the Central American country. He expects that Guatemala will fulfill its legal obligations until the end of the mandate and ensure the safety of CICIG staff.
The mandate of the UN Commission would have been in force until September this year. Guatemala is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The relationship between the UN Commission and the Government of Guatemala has been curious for some time.
CICIG leader Ivan Velasquez last asked for the waiver of immunity from President Jimmy Morales in mid-August in order to investigate him for illegal campaign funding. Morales then refused Velasquez entry. At the end of December, Guatemala also announced that it would not renew the visas of CICIG employees.
Alternative Nobel Prize for corruption investigators
In Guatemala, there are influential networks, criminal family clans, powerful masterminds. The CICIG was considered exemplary in the fight against corruption in Latin America – the premature end would be a major setback.
Together with the Guatemalan public prosecutor’s office, the UN Commission had brought the country on course and even brought the former President Otto Perez Molina behind bars. Velasquez and Guatemala’s former Attorney General Thelma Aldana were honored last September for their work on the Alternative Nobel Prize.