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Weekly Report - 28 March 2019 (WR-19-12)

GUATEMALA: Aldana’s candidacy under threat

A local judge has ordered the arrest of Thelma Aldana, a former attorney general (2014-2018) who is running for the new centre-left Movimiento Semilla in the June general election. As presidential candidate Aldana, who is currently polling second in opinion surveys [WR-19-10], theoretically enjoys immunity from prosecution. However, the interior minister, Enrique Degenhart, has said that the arrest warrant, which relates to charges of embezzlement, lying, and tax fraud (which she maintains are trumped up), remains active. This has sparked concerns that Aldana, who made her name as attorney general through her ground-breaking efforts (along with the International commission against impunity in Guatemala, Cicig) to tackle corruption, may be barred from the race.

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