On 31 August 2018, President Jimmy Morales issued a decision not to renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Subsequently, on 4 September 2018, the Guatemalan authorities barred the Commissioner of the CICIG, Iván Velásquez, from entering the country.
International organisations based in Europe that cooperate on Guatemala are gravely concerned that these recent decisions seriously undermine the rule of law and puts the independence of the Guatemalan justice system at risk.
In a Joint Statement, 14 organisation call on the European Union and its Members States to, among others, demand that Guatemala comply with its international obligations and guarantee the necessary conditions for Commissioner Iván Velásquez and the CICIG to continue their work safely and independently (all the more important, given the essential support the CICIG gives to other key Guatemalan institutions working to uphold the rule of law, including the Public Prosecutor’s Office, independent judges, and the Human Rights Ombudsman). It further calls on them to see to it that the state of Guatemala respects the human rights of its citizens and does not return to the violent, repressive and undemocratic practices of the past.
The Observatory of Judicial Independence is a tool to monitor and analyse the internal and external factors that threaten judicial independence in Guatemala.