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All Bark And No Bite

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on January 7, 2019 21:41

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How does a commission have value if it has no power?

From corrupt business and judicial practices to possible human rights violations, there is a clear divide in Guatemalan society. During the past eleven years, the nation has underwent a national investigation into allegations against hundreds of individuals, and dozens of criminal networks. The operation has been sponsored by a U.N. anti-corruption commission (abbreviated CICIG, using it's Spanish name). But it appears this investigatory period may be ending on a sour note, as the Guatemalan government is pulling out of the arrangement. 

The announcement came earlier today from Guatemala's foreign minister Sandra Joval to the U.N. Later at a press conference, President Jimmy Morales accused the GICIG of impropriety and of exceeding its authority, and putting the country's sovereignty in danger. While members implicated by the investigation have supported and thanked Morales for his decision (who was himself being investigated), the President and other persons of interest have broadly denied the accusations. The CICIG's mandate has not been renewed and its authority has been revoked. The commission has until September 2019 to leave the country. 

Now this isn't really about the allegations themselves, but the idea behind the U.N. commission. It seems strange that corruption could be so conceivably bad that an international body is required, but that this same commission can have its authority revoked by those they are investigating. Concerns of overreaching foreign interests may be valid, but the judgment call being unilaterally made by Guatemala seems like all too easy of a way out. 

The future of the investigations is unclear, but it seems quite clear that, for the time being, international aid is no longer available to the people of Guatemala. Hopefully, justice is served in the country despite this apparent setback. 

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on January 7, 2019 21:41

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Source: Reuters
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GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala's attorney general and a U.N. anti-graft body accused the mayor of Guatemala City, Alvaro...

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