Claudia Paz y Paz excluded from shortlist of candidates for attorney general

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GHRC laments  the decision earlier this week by the Nominating Commission to exclude Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz from the list of candidates sent to President Pérez Molina for attorney general.

Dr. Paz y Paz — the current Attorney General — received only 4 votes out of 13, despite the fact that she received the second highest score during the review process and is widely recognized for her professionalism and successful efforts to decrease impunity over the last three years in Guatemala.

The roster of the six finalists raises grave concerns about the independence of the institution in the future. Three of the six candidates selected have been the subject of serious objections raised by the CICIG; the other three have also been the subject of allegations from other groups.

Organizations and members from the Human Rights Convergence (Convergencia) held a press conference Wednesday in Guatemala City in which they explained the irregularities and denounced external influence in the process to elect the new attorney general.

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Members of the Convergencia at the press conference on April 30

On Tuesday, the nominating committee picked six candidates to give to the President. 6,790 citizens had signed a petition calling for Claudia Paz y Paz to be included in the final list of candidates, and members of the Convergencia called the rejection of the petition a “flagrant violation” of the rights of the Guatemalan people.

Claudia Samayoa, Coordinator for UDEFEGUA, stated that the decision represents a “pact of impunity” across three major sectors of the country: networks of organized crime, the business sector, and those who wish to avoid being held responsible for human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict. “Obviously, these three sectors are not interested in strengthening the justice system,” said Samayoa.

Iduvina Hernández, from the organization Security and Democracy, said that the biggest challenges now will be proving that this pact of impunity won’t be the dominating factor in the management [of the Public Ministry], and second, insuring the reforms initiated by Claudia Paz y Paz continue.

 

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