AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Bishops want reliable and independent judges

Monday, 1 March 2021 elections   justice   corruption   drug trade   episcopal conferences  

Guatemala City (Agenzia Fides) - Regarding the "obvious and persistent difficulties" in choosing the members of the courts, the bishops made a statement entitled "The Lord loves justice" (Ps 37:28).
First of all, the Presidency of the Bishops' Conference highlights that "Every country that wants to live in accordance with the rule of law needs a system of administration of justice that is reliable, lawful and maintained by proven and honorable people who know the law and are independent from any kind of pressure from any group or person". In this context, they also point out the need for the judiciary "not to be elected or imposed by organizations openly or covertly linked to organized crime and drug trafficking".
The bishops regret that the system of electing judges established in the 1985 Constitution "has been distorted by a variety of interests, most of which are illegal, if not blatantly criminal", leading to the dwindling of the judiciary and its administration in Guatemala and trust in them.
"The ongoing scandals in which people are involved in the processes of the election of the staff of the courts are a drama that calls into question the existence of the rule of law in the country", warn the Bishops, who exhort: "As a Catholic Church, in the search for the common good as the supreme norm of coexistence, we call on those responsible, all active and passive persons in charge of the electoral processes of the Courts, to help ensure credibility in the administration of justice and in the correct choice of their administrators".
Finally, they invoke God to enlighten and support "those who can contribute to the strengthening of justice in Guatemala, justice that our people want and that Guatemala deserves". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2021)