Police officers guard the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala, during a raid by the Public Prosecutor's Office, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, 29 September 2023. EFE/ David Toro

Guatemalan prosecutor lashes out against OAS during fourth raid on electoral tribunal

Guatemala City, Sept 29 (EFE).- The Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office raided the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Friday for the fourth time since the presidential elections, and prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche accused the Organization of American States of “tarnishing” the Central American country’s democracy.

“This operation is part of a reserved investigation that aims to save the country’s democracy, which has been attacked by the OAS,” Curruchiche told reporters during the operation.

He added that the raid did not have any direct connection to Arévalo or the leaders of his party, the Seed Movement.

Prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, from the Guatemalan General Attorney’s Office, accused the Organization of American States of “sullying” the democracy of the Central American country, during a raid to the electoral tribunal carried out, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, 29 September 2023. EFE/ David Toro

Curruchiche, the current head of the Public Ministry’s Office of the Special Prosecutor against Impunity, was sanctioned by the United States Department of State on January 2023 for undermining democracy and engaging in corruption.

This is the fourth raid carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the headquarters of the Electoral Tribunal in the last two months claiming alleged anomalies in the electoral process that resulted in the election of the progressive Bernardo Arévalo.

The spokesperson for the Supreme Electoral Tribunal told EFE on Friday that the prosecutors requested information on the electoral records of the first and second rounds.

At the time of reporting, members of the Attorney General’s Office remained inside the building, which was cordoned off and guarded by dozens of police officers.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the OAS, the European Union, and “other foreign entities” have intervened in Guatemala’s electoral process.

“There are more than a thousand people who have filed complaints against the electoral process,” Curruchiche said.

Last week, the OAS said the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office had made unfounded accusations against the Seed Party, and Secretary General Luis Almagro called for an end to the persecution of Arévalo.

On Aug. 20, the progressive Arévalo surprisingly won the Guatemalan presidency with 2.5 million votes, beating his rival, the traditional politician Sandra Torres, by 21 percentage points.

The president-elect denounced in early September that the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office was orchestrating a “coup d’état” to prevent him from taking office on Jan. 14.

Arévalo will be the first social-democratic president of the Central American country in 70 years.EFE