Guatemalans continue to demand reform

Nic Wirtz has a good update on developments in Guatemala at Americas Quarterly.
Baldetti was stripped of immunity from prosecution and now faces an investigation into her possible role in Caso SAT. Although wiretaps presented by the Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala—CICIG) reportedly contained references to “The Lady”, “2” (meaning the second in charge) and “R” (possibly referring to the "R" in Baldetti’s first name), she faces more difficult questions about her possible complicity in helping Monzón escape Guatemala just before investigators swooped in to arrest him. He has still not been found. However, opposition political party Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (National Unity of Hope—UNE) claims to have evidence that Monzón has twice returned to his home country to discuss the case with political allies, despite the fact he remains on Interpol’s wanted list.
I didn't realize that Baldetti had been sidelined during Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Guatemala and that she headed various corruption investigative bodies.
If Baldetti is charged with fraud or found to be complicit in Monzón’s flight from authorities, it would be a classic case of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, given that she headed offices that investigated governmental corruption. These included La Comisión Nacional para la Prevención y Combate de la Defraudación Aduanera y el Contrabando (The Commission for the Prevention and Combat of Customs Defrauding and Contraband—CONACON) and La Comisión Presidencial de Coordinación de los Esfuerzos contra el Lavado de Dinero y Otros Activos y del Financiamiento del Terrorismo en Guatemala (The Presidential Commission to Coordinate Forces against Money Laundering and Other Activities and the Financing of Terrorism in Guatemala).
What's next? Hard to say. Thousands of Guatemalans took to the streets to protest government corruption once again on Saturday. They are not satisfied with Roxana Baldetti's resignation.


I'd say that Baldetti's political career is over, but if Alfonso Portillo can come back from pleading guilty to corruption charges in the US, that might not be the case. The PP? It's again hard to how the party survives past this election. They lost their presidential candidate and the party's support has plummeted. Unfortunately, one of the things that they have going for themselves is their competition - Baldizon and Torres? I asked Nic who the cleanish candidates Guatemalans might be able to get behind in September's elections and he came up with Nineth Montenegro and Juan Gutierrez.

I had hopes that the PP (and UNE) might break the pattern of weak parties in Guatemala (a center-right and center-left option), but it's not clear that it was ever that strong - they simply bought party lists throughout the country like every other party and given the corruption and involvement of former military officials within the party from the start, it's also a good thing if they are done.