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Thursday, February 22, 2024

US bars ex-Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei from entry 3 days after he left workplace

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GUATEMALA CITY — The U.S. State Division barred former Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei from coming into the US, accusing him Wednesday of “important corruption” three days after he left workplace.

The Biden administration had turn into more and more vital of Giammattei’s administration as Guatemalan prosecutors sought to move off Sunday’s inauguration of recent President Bernardo Arévalo, who has vowed to crack down on corruption.

“The State Division has credible info indicating that Giammattei accepted bribes in change for the efficiency of his public features throughout his tenure as president of Guatemala, actions that undermined the rule of regulation and authorities transparency,” State Division spokesman Matthew Miller stated in a press release.

Corruption allegations swirled round Giammattei for a lot of his time period, however prosecutors who acquired the accusations have been pushed out by Legal professional Common Consuelo Porras — herself already sanctioned by the U.S. authorities — and the inquiries didn’t advance.

The U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian A. Nichols, had warned final week that the U.S. authorities would proceed figuring out and holding accountable those that tried to undermine Guatemala’s democracy.

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Giammattei had maintained within the months earlier than the inauguration that the prosecutors’ {cases} in opposition to Arévalo and his get together weren’t politically motivated and that due to the separation of powers he couldn’t intervene. Publicly he stated the transition of energy was advancing.

Critics stated that in Giammattei’s four-year time period, a lot of the greater than decade of labor by a United Nations-supported anti-corruption fee and Guatemalan prosecutors was undone. The native prosecutors and judges who labored with the U.N. grew to become the hunted, with dozens fleeing the nation and people who didn’t getting locked up and going through prices.

The U.S. authorities has sanctioned lots of of Guatemalan officers and personal residents accused of undermining the nation’s democracy. Earlier in President Joe Biden’s time period, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala and stated unchecked corruption was an element driving Guatemalans to to migrate.

“The US stays dedicated to strengthening transparency and governance in Guatemala and all through the Western Hemisphere and we’ll proceed to make use of all obtainable instruments to advertise accountability for individuals who undermine it,” Miller’s assertion stated Wednesday.

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