Yesterday, hundreds of representatives from civil society, human rights organizations, campesino and indigenous movements, pro-justice groups, and others gathered in front of the Guatemalan Congress to protest a recent Constitutional Court (CC) decision to limit the term of Guatemala’s respected Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz.
The decision, made on February 6, 2014, called for Paz y Paz to step down in May 2014 — seven months before her four-year term was scheduled to end. The ruling was based on an argument that the Attorney General’s term technically began in May 2010, when the official she replaced was appointed, instead of December 2010, when she first took office.
Paz y Paz appealed the ruling, which was dismissed by the CC last week. This week, Congress formed a commission to begin the search for a replacement.
Protesters gathered to demand that Congress “not comply with the illegal resolution of the Constitutional Court.” They further stated that the decision constitutes the crime of malfeasance, typified in the Penal Code:
“Article 462. Malfeasance. The judge, knowingly dictating resolutions contrary to the law or based on false facts, will be sentenced to prison for two to six years.”