Guatemala Decides to Expel UN Anti-Corruption Group

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has denounced the Guatemalan Government’s decision to unilaterally terminate the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

CICIG is an independent body set up by the UN and Guatemala to investigate illegal security groups and high-level corruption in the country.

The Secretary-General met Monday (January 7) with Foreign Minister Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco of Guatemala who presented him with a letter informing the United Nations of the Government’s intention to terminate the agreement establishing the CICIG within 24 hours.

According to a UN statement, the Secretary-General strongly rejected the content of the letter addressed to him.

The United Nations has been constructively engaged with the Government of Guatemala, at various levels, over the last 16 months, in accordance with article 12 of the agreement creating CICIG.

“The mandate of the UN anti-corruption Commission is set to end on 3 September. Until that date, we expect the Government of Guatemala to entirely fulfill its legal obligations under the agreement,” the UN statement added.

The Secretary-General expects the Government of Guatemala to abide by its international undertakings to ensure the protection of CICIG personnel, both international and national.

Meanwhile, on 9 January 2019, Guatemala’s constitutional court suspended the government decision to expel the UN body.

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Rakesh Raman