Thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday (January 12) in Guatemala against President Jimmy Morales' attempt to end the mandate of a UN anti-corruption mission that has a strong interest in the accounts of his 2015 election campaign.
"We refuse the government of the corrupt", "We are against impunity"proclaimed signs held by demonstrators in Guatemala City, the capital.
"We reject the misleading and illegal measures of Jimmy Morales (…) that time after time tries to stop the fight against corruption "Álvaro Montenegro, from Justicia Ya, one of the groups calling for the demonstration, told the press.
New events are expected on Monday.
Suspension by the courts at the end of the mission
The Guatemalan government ended Monday the mission of the UN-backed international commission against impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), which was founded in 2007. But on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court – the highest court in the country of Guatemala – suspended this unilateral decision.
In its decision, the Constitutional Court urges the authorities to do everything in their power to facilitate the work of the UN mission.
The end of the UN mission, which accused Jimmy Morales of exceeding his functions, was originally planned for September 3, 2019, after the next presidential election.
The tensions between President Morales and Cicig go back to 2016 when his brother and son were accused of tax evasion and money laundering. They rose in the summer of 2017 when the UN mission and the prosecutor's office called for the waiver of presidential immunity to investigate suspicions of illegal election funding during the 2015 campaign.