(FIEL) Taiwan's President Tsai Ing wen (c-r) and the President of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala, Silvia Patricia Valdes Quezada (c-i), walk to a meeting today, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. EFE/Esteban Biba

Guatemala completes four years without renewing Supreme Court of Justice

Guatemala City, Oct 13 (EFE).- Guatemala’s Supreme Court of Justice completed four years on Friday without electing new magistrates, and the current ones will continue in office for another year despite being accused of “undermining justice” by civil and international organizations.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the members of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Silvia Valdés, confirmed that they will continue at the head of the Judicial Branch for one more year.

The 13 regular and 13 alternate magistrates of the Court will continue with their functions in the absence of the election of their successors, informed the Guatemalan Judicial Branch in its official channels.

In addition, the appellate chambers have also stalled their elections. Therefore, the 200 judges that comprise them will continue in their positions for one more year.

Guatemalan magistrates were elected for the period 2014-2019. However, they have remained in office due to alleged rigging in the election of their successors in 2020.

According to an investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2020, the commission in charge of evaluating the profiles of the aspiring magistrates would have carried out illicit negotiations, so the replacement was stalled.

Civil organizations have accused the magistrates of pressuring judges, who were in charge of high-impact cases, to leave their posts.

At the end of September, criminal judge Carlos Ruano went into exile outside Guatemala. He accused Blanca Staling, one of the Supreme Court magistrates, of seeking to prosecute him because, in 2017, he denounced her for influence peddling.

For the past four years, different civil platforms in Guatemala have urged Congress to elect new Supreme Court authorities. However, the legislature has postponed such an election on more than 15 occasions.

The Guatemalan Judiciary assured that the current magistrates will be able to resign once the Congress designates those who should occupy their position for the next six-year period. EFE