IAWJ Member Participates in Discussion on Corruption, Impunity & Institutional Crisis in Guatemala

On 31 August 2017, IAWJ member, Claudia Escobar, joined Michael Camilleri, Johan Creamer, and Adriana Beltran for a conversation about corruption, impunity, and the ongoing political crisis in Guatemala following President Jimmy Morales’ attempt to fire Iván Velásquez. The Dialogue hosted this discussion in Washington, DC.

Iván Velásquez is the commissioner of the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Guatemala’s political leaders have criticized CICIG for some time, but President Morales is the first leader to attempt to expel its top official. After CICIG announced that investigators were probing financial irregularities in Morales’ presidential campaign, Morales declared Velásquez a Persona Non Grata. In response, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court declared the action as void, but Morales’ actions have left an air of uncertainty around his presidency and the future of the Guatemalan democracy.

Claudia Escobar, Former Guatemalan Court of Appeals Magistrate and Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, argued that the elections for Attorney General and various magistrates might add some uncertainty to the current political crisis in Guatemala. She noted that civil society—which is now divided and not as strong as it was two years ago—plays a key role. The Dialogue has shared a video of the entire panel discussion.