11-10-19 Latin American Weekly Report
Besieged Moreno clings to power amid massive protests
The future of Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales is looking increasingly uncertain. Last week he sparked local and international outrage after declaring Iván Velásquez, the respected head of the United Nations backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country. Morales’ order came two days after Velásquez and Guatemala’s attorney general (AG) Thelma Aldana called for him to be stripped of his immunity from prosecution to be investigated for illegal campaign financing involving his Frente de Convergencia Nacional (FCN-Nación) party. The constitutional court (CC) has since defin- itively suspended the order, a decision which Morales – who took office in January 2016 after winning the previous year’s election on an anti-corrup- tion pledge – has so far accepted, thereby averting a major institutional crisis. However, it raises major questions as to whether, like his predecessor Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015), forced to resign prematurely over corrup- tion, Morales will see out his full four-year term [WR-15-36].
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