Guatemala is to choose a new Human Rights Ombudsman. The Human Rights Commission has presented a list of suitable candidates to congress, who are now tasked with selecting a suitable ombudsman. This should be someone who is independent, professional, competent, and has experience and recognition in the field of Human Rights.
We have been following this process independently and emphasise that the position of the Human Rights Ombudsman is fundamental to ensuring the rights of all citizens, especially vulnerable groups, as well as the supervision of the Guatemalan states human rights obligations. The role of the ombudsman is particularly important in the current context of the fight against impunity and corruption in Guatemala.
We recommend that Congress follow international standards in the selection of high state officials and choose their next ombudsman publically and transparently. We recommend that they do this through the broadcasting of public interviews, which will also counteract any potential co-optation.
We support Guatemalan Civil Society Organisations that demand a selection based on merit and qualifications and those advocating for a public and transparent process with citizen participation.
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The Observatory of Judicial Independence is a tool to monitor and analyse the internal and external factors that threaten judicial independence in Guatemala.