Archive picture of secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, Washington, United States. June 20 2023. EFE/Lenin Nolly

OAS’s Almagro demands Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office stop harassing Arevalo’s party

Washington, Sept 18 (EFE).- The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, demanded on Monday that the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office stop persecuting the Seed Movement of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo.

“The accusations made by the Attorney General’s Office are unclear and without legal typification and are an obvious persecution of a political party. The harassment of the Seed Movement must stop,” he said before the Permanent Council of the organization.

Almagro spoke at the OAS to present a report on his recent visit to Guatemala, where he met with Arévalo and representatives of the Attorney General’s Office.

Almagro revealed to the representatives of the Americas some unprecedented details about his meeting with the Attorney General’s Office.

Specifically, he said that members of the Attorney General’s Office made “very illustrative” presentations that were “impregnated with negativity” and had the potential to frustrate the process of transfer of power from the current president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, to Arévalo.

Almagro visited Guatemala between September 4 and 6 and again on September 11 and 12 to monitor the transition process.

On September 12, however, Arévalo announced that he was suspending dialogue with the Giammattei government and halting the handover process after the Attorney General’s Office issued orders to raid two headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to inspect ballot boxes.

Arévalo has called for the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras, who is under US sanctions for corruption and undermining democracy, as well as the prosecutor who requested the raids, Rafael Curruchiche, who is also under US sanctions, and of the criminal judge who authorized them, Fredy Orellana.

Almagro was very critical of the actions of all these actors, while not mentioning them by name. He spoke of “intimidation,” denounced a transition process full of “political aggression,” and said that their actions seek to “disregard the will of the people” in defiance of what was expressed in the ballot boxes.

“We ask that nothing and no one tarnish this transition process, that it be carried out in peace and serenity, like the demonstrations that are taking place in Guatemala right now. These are demonstrations of civic responsibility and demonstrations of popular commitment to democracy,” he said.

” Respect for the Constitution, for democracy, for civility, must be shown by all state institutions, including the Attorney General’s Office,” he continued.

Almagro added that the OAS will remain involved in Guatemala’s transition process until January 14, 2024, when Arévalo is scheduled to be sworn in as president and his running mate Karin Herrera as vice-president.

Arévalo, whose main promise is to eradicate corruption from the state, won the presidency for the period 2024-2028 in the second round of elections on August 20 with 2.5 million votes in his favor, beating his rival, former first lady Sandra Torres of the National Unity of Hope, by 21 percentage points.

Torres still refuses to concede defeat and has raised the ghost of electoral fraud, something that the OAS electoral observation mission, which was present during the process, flatly rejects.EFE

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