The Guatemalan Congress took office on April 13 with only three of the five members of the Constitutional Court. It happened in the midst of a strong circle of national civil police.
Congressman Alan Rodriguez described the event as “a special day to celebrate life for the restoration of the Republic and the glory of the country.”
However, violent clashes erupted between police and a group of protesters who opposed the inauguration. They tried to break the ban by bringing their protest in front of the Congress Hall.
Instead of the five members of the Constitutional Court for the period 2021-2026, only judges were elected, elected by the Supreme Court, Congress and the executive branch. Until recently, one of them was the Presidential Secretary-General. Another is close friends with former Congressman and presidential candidate Jury Rios, the daughter of former public and genocidal murderer Efron Rios Mont.
In other words, supporters of the conservative and corrupt government were involved. In contrast, the inauguration of Nastor Vasquez, a representative of the Bar Association, and Gloria Borros, elected by the Supreme Council of the University of San Carlos, was postponed due to unresolved cases. In the case of Vasquez, the objection was already known, but the challenge against Borras (until then the head of the Constitutional Court) was announced at the time. This surprised the magistrate, after which he left Congress in the middle of the session. A similar maneuver took place during the presidential election in late 2019. Thelma Altana, the head of the public prosecutor’s office who excelled in her fight against corruption, was also embroiled in judicial trifles to thwart her candidacy and prevent her from becoming president of the republic (because she was so successful).
Gloria Boras is considered the last stronghold of independent justice in Guatemala. As a result, he enjoys Washington’s support. The case against him “undermines Guatemala’s commitment to an independent judiciary and the fight against systematic corruption,” said Julie Chung, the US Deputy Secretary of State.
According to analysts, one of the biggest challenges for members of this Constitutional Court is to prove independence from the institutions that appointed them. Meanwhile, complaints from civil society continue about the politicization of the judiciary and the conflicts of interest that come with it. The new trend of the Constitutional Court was immediately felt with pain by civil society.
Charity instead of human rights
Last February, Guatemala passed a controversial law with the support of Congress, ruling party and conservative representatives. The law increases government control over voluntary organizations operating in the country. Generally, the government is empowered to register a voluntary charity without the need for legal action or security mechanism. It may have control over funds provided through international cooperation. Despite the demands of the civil society and international organizations for the veto, President Geomety signed the law on February 27 last year. Voluntary charities immediately issued warnings and raised objections. A few days later, the then Constitutional Court suspended the implementation of the law.
The new Constitutional Court (somewhat served by members) ‘pact der corrupt’) The NGO has categorically rejected the objections sought to stop the law. Therefore, the gate is open to come into effect at any time.
That law imposes additional restrictions and bureaucracy on voluntary charities and foundations. On the other hand, the law defines possible areas of cooperation, including charity, education, and health. But no mention is made of human rights, for example. The law gives the president or executive power over any organization ‘It threatens social order’ Should be withdrawn immediately and without pre-trial procedure.
Upon hearing this news, social organizations in Guatemala immediately began to coordinate legal action and campaigns.
‘We clean our house’
El Salvador’s President Naib Bukele won the 2019 election with 53% of the vote. Through this he crowned his image as “thousands” and anti-establishment president. Despite making decisions that have little to do with democracy, he still has the support of a large section of the population. To understand this, we must remember that Naib Boukel did not represent any of El Salvador’s two major parties. That is why he is sometimes considered a ‘foreigner’. In addition, his continued participation on Twitter has boosted his popularity, and even through this medium he issues orders to the armed forces. Other reasons for his success were the insecurity of the country and the criminal gangs that controlled the entire region. Buckell won strong popular support for direct confrontation with gangs by expanding the military and police, with a strong discourse and promise of greater security.
The president and his army have occupied Congress
But it did not take an epidemic to show its most dictatorial qualities. In February 2020, he made headlines with a major anti-democratic act of attacking one of the country’s most important institutions. He rushed to parliament with military troops seeking approval for a bill to negotiate a loan for his national security plan. He even occupied the seat of Congress president to approve this financial move. He accused them of not attending a rally to prevent the theme from being discussed.
On May 1 this year, the country’s newly elected Congress voted to oust five judges from the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court.
The Congress, dominated by President Buccaneer’s News Ideas Party, backed the resignation by an absolute majority (64 of 84 votes), including all Buccaneer’s MPs and other affiliated members.
Delegates said the judges blocked the president’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The Constitutional Chamber (CSJ) of the Supreme Court immediately responded, “The decision of the Congress … is unconstitutional because it is contrary to the form of republican, democratic and representative government.”
The controversial referendum immediately led to the highest level of national and international trust, with those who believe that this decision undermines the independence of the powers of state organs and has no legal basis. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, spoke on the issue of the independence of judges and lawyers. The Special Rapporteur heard their voices.
“We are cleaning our house … it’s not your business,” President Buckley responded firmly to reports from the international community.
* https: //agn.gt/asumen-magistrados-de-la-corte-de-constitucionalidad-para-el-periodo-2021-2026/
* https: //www.demoamlat.com/nayib-bukele-y-sus-arbitrarias-measures-en-medidas-de-la-pandemia/