U.S. Penalizes Guatemala Attorney General for Corruption

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Department of State
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Department of State

The United States has designated Attorney General of Guatemala Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta de Porres (“Porras”) due to her involvement in significant corruption. During her tenure, Porras repeatedly obstructed and undermined anti-corruption investigations in Guatemala to protect her political allies and gain undue political favour. 

According to a statement released on May 16 by the U.S. Department of State, Porras’s pattern of obstruction includes reportedly ordering prosecutors in Guatemala’s Public Ministry to ignore cases based on political considerations and firing prosecutors who investigate cases involving acts of corruption.

This public designation is made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022. Under this authority, designated officials of foreign governments involved in significant corruption and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.  

The Department is also designating Porras’s husband Gilberto de Jesus Porres de Paz. The designation follows Porras’s September 2021 inclusion on the list of corrupt and undemocratic actors submitted to the U.S. Congress under Section 353 of the United States – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act. 

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The Department is actively considering additional designations under Section 353, including making new designations public at the appropriate time. 

“These designations reaffirm the commitment of the United States to combat corruption, which undermines the Guatemalan people’s faith in their democratic institutions. The United States continues to stand with all Guatemalans in support of democracy and the rule of law and against those who would undermine these principles for personal gain,” said the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

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Rakesh Raman