AMERICA/GUATEMALA - The people against corruption, the Church condemns those who promote impunity

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 corruption   violence   politics   human rights  

Guatemala City (Agenzia Fides) - Guatemala lives one of the worst moments of its democratic life: almost all the country's institutions have declared themselves against Congress which has announced the Reform of the Criminal Code and has refused to remove parliamentary privilege regarding President Jimmy Morales, a few days after his convocation, on behalf of the Attorney General Office and of the UN Anti-Corruption Commission, for irregularities during the election campaign which he won and led him to Presidency.
The voice of the Church is one of the most heard in public opinion, and the document of the Episcopal Conference is widespread. Fides reports the full document.
"In response to the shameful reform of the Penal Code promoted by the Congress of the Republic on 13 September, the Bishops' Conference of Guatemala (CEG) states the following:
1.- Unspeakable and arbitrary act, which promotes impunity and rewards corruption.
2.- Condemnation of one of the most ignominious acts committed by congress, which unfortunately represents the whole body of legislators in the country.
3.- Indignation for the abuse on behalf of legislators who, with their actions, put Congress in an indefensible position.
4.- We call on citizens to express their rejection more strongly for this unspeakable violation of legitimacy to the benefit of criminals".
The document is signed by Mgr. Gonzalo de Villa sj, Bishop of Sololá-Chimaltenango and President of the Bishops' Conference of Guatemala.
Almost all social organizations in the country have confirmed their participation in the national strike on 20 September, against corruption and against the authorities that created this national crisis. Trade unions, students, workers, farmers, even the most representative indigenous associations in the country will be present to demand the resignation of President Jimmy Morales and corrupt members of the Congress.
Guatemala has lived weeks of intense political confrontation following President Jimmy Morales's attempt to expel Ivan Velázquez, head of the "International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala" (CICIG), a UN body, declaring him "unpopular" . However, the Constitutional Court in Guatemala has suspended the President's decision, declaring his action "illegal". (See Fides, 05/09/2017)
The Gualtemiltean population has seen in the court's intervention a step forward in the fight against corruption. President Morales is under investigation for receiving illicit funding. To defend himself, it has leveraged on nationalism and the threat of the use of force so as not to destabilize the country and relegate it to political and democratic uncertainty. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/09/2017)