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Weekly Report - 25 March 2021 (WR-21-12)

GUATEMALA: Constitutional court election fails to dispel corruption fears

“The Biden administration wants to work with strong partners in Guatemala that are committed to fighting corruption and upholding the rule of law. An independent judiciary free from political pressure is essential”. US Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung did not mince her words in a tweet posted on 18 March, days after the hotly awaited process of selecting new constitutional court (CC) justices for five-year terms concluded in Guatemala. The process attracted particular attention given concerns about the direction of anti-corruption efforts which have intensified over the as-yet incomplete process of electing supreme court (CSJ) justices and appellate judges. This has stalled following the unveiling last year by the attorney general’s office (AG) of the so-called ‘parallel commissions 2020 case’, which involves allegations of interference by illicit groups in the justice system.

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