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Weekly Report - 25 June 2020 (WR-20-25)

​GUATEMALA: Heads roll over pandemic response

President Alejandro Giammattei last week sacked the head of the health ministry (MSPAS), Hugo Monroy, and three of his deputies. The move, which followed growing pressure from institutions including the human rights ombudsman and national legislature, as well as civil-society groups, reflects discontent with the government’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. As well as corruption allegations which emerged in April [WR-20-17], the MSPAS has more recently faced accusations of incompetence, particularly over the poor execution of the budget assigned to tackle the health emergency. Monroy’s replacement has been well-received. However, the changes come as the country, which has the highest death toll from the virus in Central America and second highest number of cases, is entering a critical point, with the number of new infections rising and fears that the health system is at its limit.

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