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Jan 7, 2019

Guatemala Withdraws From CICIG

Guatemala is pulling out of the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity, known as CICIG. The announcement was made today by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel Polanco after meeting with UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Jovel accused the group and its members of politicizing its work, violating Guatemala’s sovereignty, failing to respect the presumption of innocence and causing division in Guatemala.  In 2018, tensions between the Guatemalan government and CICIG increased after the group began investigating top government officials and family members of President Jimmy Morales. The CICIG has been operating in Guatemala for eleven years and during that time, it has led investigations which have implicated more than six hundred people, including elected officials, businesspeople, and bureaucrats. The decision to withdraw comes after the Guatemalan government’s decision to withdraw diplomatic immunity from eleven officials who were involved in the investigations relating to corruption cases involving blood relatives of President Morales. On Sunday night, police were at the airport to greet CICIG members who the court has ordered must be allowed into Guatemala. The U.N. has not responded to Guatemala’s decision.

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