Category Archives: Al Jazeera

The law has always been used to protect the powerful in Guatemala

I have a post at Al Jazeera this morning with An end to impunity in Guatemala? In it, I discuss the setbacks that have occurred in terms of transitional justice and anti-corruption efforts under retired general Otto Perez Molina. Here's the introduction:
When retired general Otto Perez Molina was elected president of Guatemala, many feared that progress in the fight against impunity stemming from the country's 30-year civil war and from organised crime that has plagued the post-war era, would suffer under this former general's administration.
Nearly four years later, Perez's actions and those of his closest confidants have confirmed our worst suspicions. Perez and his allies have undermined the struggle for transitional justice and have proven to be as corrupt, if not more so, than previous administrations. Two recent corruption scandals involving Perez's administration have outraged the Guatemalan people and led to demands for his resignation.
I suspect that President Perez will be brought before the courts at some point to determine his guilt in these, and other, corruption scandals. While waiting until he steps down in January isn't the worst outcome in the world, if CICIG and the Public Prosecutor's Office have the goods on the president, they should act now.