LatinNews Daily - 23 May 2022

US sanctions Guatemala’s AG

Guatemala: On 16 May the US State Department announced it was designating Guatemala’s attorney general, María Consuelo Porras, due to “her involvement in significant corruption”.  According to the US State Department, during her tenure, Porras repeatedly obstructed and undermined anticorruption investigations in Guatemala to protect her political allies and gain undue political favour. It adds that “Porras’s pattern of obstruction includes reportedly ordering prosecutors in the attorney general’s office to ignore cases based on political considerations and firing prosecutors who investigate cases involving acts of corruption”. This public designation is made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022. Under this authority, designated officials of foreign governments involved in significant corruption and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the US.  The US State Department is also designating Porras’s husband Gilberto de Jesús Porres de Paz. The designation follows Porras’s September 2021 inclusion on the list of corrupt and undemocratic actors submitted to the US Congress under Section 353 of the US–Northern Triangle (which comprises El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras) Enhanced Engagement Act. The same statement notes that the State Department is actively considering additional designations under Section 353, including making new designations public at the appropriate time.

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