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Dec 21, 2018

U.S. Senator Says Moscow Exerting Pressure in Latin American

Roger Wicker

President Morales is accusing the CICIG of violating the presumption of innocence of those it has investigated. By refusing to renew its mandate earlier this year, the president effectively gave CICIG until the end of its current term in September 2019 to wind down operations and leave the country. His government later declared Commission Chief Ivan Velasquez, who is a Colombian national, persona non grata and refused to let him return to Guatemala from a work trip to the United States. During his presentations, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker accused the CICIG of doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin of exerting Russian pressure on Latin America.


Roger Wicker, United States Senator

“CICIG, under the direction of Commissioner Velasquez, has gone from fighting corruption to doing Vladimir Putin’s dirty work, going even so far as to prosecute victims of corruptions like the Bitkovs. The Bitkov affair demonstrates how badly the CICIG has gone astray and President Morales is right to worn it out of his country. CICIG was established to help investigate and prosecute mafias entrenched to the state and able to act with impunity and yet it gets involve in a passport violation case against a family clearly fleeing Russian prosecution. CICIG is suppose to be above reproach yes it collaborates with a state owned Russian bank that incidentally is currently under US sanctions. CICIG is doing the bidding of Putin’s henchmen, acting as the long arm of Russia’s dictatorship. The intervention of a Kremlin controlled bank shows that an influencing CICIG is part of the Kremlin’s broader campaign to exert pressure across Latin America and we ought to be concern about that Mr. President. President Morales has made a decision as the duly elected head of a sovereign country that he will no longer tolerate an increasingly neo-colonial force. The United States should stand behind this decision.”

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