“Ongoing attempts to undermine the election results must stop”: Embassy of Canada in Guatemala

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: Mobilizations continue in Guatemala in defence of the general election.

Bernardo Arévalo was elected on June 25, 2023, to be the President of Guatemala. He is scheduled to be sworn-in on January 14, 2024.

On December 12, the Associated Press reported: “Guatemala faces mounting criticism by world leaders and watchdogs accusing it of attempts to block progressive President-elect Bernardo Arévalo from taking office in January.”

“The victory of Arévalo and his Seed Movement party is seen as a threat to those who have long wielded power in Guatemala. The anti-corruption crusader has been a target for months, with arrests of party members, raids and repeated requests to lift his immunity so prosecutors can investigate him directly.”

That article adds: “Arévalo [has] accused the prosecution of seeking to undermine his ability to govern, and was quickly backed by a growing number of international entities such as the Organization of American States and the European Union, which had sent observers to monitor the election and confirmed that voting adhered to democratic standards.”

CNN has also reported: “Arévalo, who is due to take office in January, responded to the ministry’s allegations last week saying the attempts to malign his party with various crimes, as well as questioning the elections, were all part of an attempted ‘coup d’état’.”

Canada’s position

Al Jazeera has noted: “On Friday [December 8], prosecutors threatened to annul the victory of Arevalo, who is set to take office on January 14.”

On Saturday December 9, the Embassy of Canada in Guatemala tweeted:

“On #AntiCorruptionDay, Canada strongly condemns the anti-democratic actions headed by @MPGuatemala (Public Ministry) and corrupt Guatemalan actors. Our @OAS_official [Organization of American States] statement was clear: ongoing attempts to undermine the election results must stop. Guatemalans deserve better.”

We ask that Canada also increase protection measures for human rights defenders (including visits with them, public support and the provision of emergency visas).

The OAS resolution can be read here. The voting record, showing Canada supporting the resolution, can be seen here.

For updates

We are following posts on Facebook by Indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’ journalist Carlos Ernesto Choc on the now 72 days of, as he writes, “peaceful mobilization and resistance, against a coup perpetrated by the Public Ministry (MP), in complicity with the Congress of the Republic and the Supreme Courts of Justice (CSJ) and the Constitutional Court (CC).”

We also continue to follow updates from PBI-Guatemala on Facebook for more on this developing situation.

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