The end of impunity in Guatemala
Posted by Charles II on September 2, 2015
In Guatemala, the Legislature voted unanimously to strip President Otto Pérez Molina of immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for his arrest. The ruling echoes the decision by the country’s Supreme Court last week and makes it possible to prosecute Pérez Molina as part of a corruption investigation that has sparked protests calling for his resignation. We’re joined from Guatemala City by Allan Nairn, a longtime journalist who has covered Guatemala since the 1980s.
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, people were cheering, they were crying, setting off fireworks. This is an example for the world. This is a general we’re talking about, one of the generals—one of the U.S.-backed generals who carried out the massacres that devastated the Mayan population of the northwest highland. I met him in the highlands as he was doing that, and his troops described how they strangled, executed civilians and threw them into mass graves. He then became president. Prior to that, he was placed on the CIA payroll. And now he’s going to be treated like a common citizen, and perhaps a common criminal. He could be taken at any moment by the authorities.
Last night after the verdict, I walked by the Casa Presidencial, the presidential house—it’s the White House of Guatemala—and spoke to a soldier outside who is a member—a corporal of the presidential guard. And I asked him how his unit would react if the Ministerio Público, the justice department, comes and tries to arrest the president, Pérez Molina. And he said they would not resist. They would take their orders from the Ministerio Público.
Our State Department, May 8th is, of course, propping up the corrupt, murderous thug:
The U.S. Government takes note of the decision of Guatemala’s vice president to submit her resignation. We support President Otto Perez Molina and his administration’s efforts to address charges of official corruption in Guatemala. [emphasis added]
Apparently they’ve gone silent since Perez Molina was charged. So I guess they’ve transferred the support to the CIA. Jeff Abbott, UpsideDown World:
Throughout the crisis, the embassy has maintained their support for the embattled president, leading many protesters to claim that the United States is meddling in Guatemalan politics once again. But since the announcement of charges against the President, the embassy has remained silent.
Early on in the crisis US Ambassador Todd Robinson appeared beside the embattled Guatemalan President to announce the United States plan to help “reform” and “modernize” the Guatemalan tax collection agency.
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