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Guatemala: Protect judicial staffers fighting impunity and corruption

Among them was a staff member with the International Commission payment against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, a UN-backed body which the Government power down in 2019.   “These judicial processes and the lack of due process ensures undermine the rule of law in the entire nation, ” said Mr. Türk  “Equally concerning are the attacks against those wanting to combat one of the worst infections to afflict any culture: corruption. ”  

Within intimidation 

Over the past two years, the particular UN human rights office ( OHCHR ) in Guatemala provides documented a more than 70 per cent increase in the number of judicial system workers facing intimidation and criminal charges for work on corruption or human being rights violations, particularly the ones that occurred in the context of the civil war from 1960 to 1996.   In between 2007 and 2019, the particular CICIG assisted the nationwide judicial system in dealing with more than 100 high-profile cases of alleged corruption and other criminal offences.   Justice officials, along with other individuals, have been investigated, detained, charged and even convicted designed for abuse of power, obstruction of justice and conspiracy theory, said Mr. Türk.  

Arrest warrants issued 

The cases involved Government officials, users of Congress and the Courts, as well as several individuals in the private sector.   “I call on the specialists to take appropriate measures to strengthen and guarantee the independence of the justice system and give the necessary protection to justice officials. ”  “It is dramatic, given Guatemala’s history, that those fighting pertaining to accountability for gross individual rights violations are the types now being persecuted, ” he said in a statement.   On Monday, the Chief of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against impunity announced arrest warrants for three justice officials.  

Undermining rule of law 

Several others have left the country out of fear for their basic safety.   High Commissioner Volker Türk expressed deep concern over the repeated intimidation, harassment and reprisals they are dealing with.   Because the CICIG was disbanded, there has been a steady increase in the number of instances of harassment and legal charges against its previous officials, and prosecutors.  

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