Guatemala News Update: November 30-December 4

Will Someone Finally Be Held Accountable for Efrain Bámaca’s Enforced Disappearance?

This International Justice Monitor blog post discusses the case of Efrain Bámaca, which may be reopened in the coming months after years of inactivity. On November 24, the Supreme Court was scheduled to hold a hearing on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ decision on the Bámaca case, though the hearing was ultimately suspended. The case pertains to the enforced disappearance of former guerrilla commander Efrain Bámaca, also known as “Commander Everardo.” GHRC has accompanied Bámaca’s wife, Jennifer Harbury, in her search for justice over the past several decades.

602 Public Officials Captured on Corruption Charges

According to an article from Prensa Libre, between January and early November of this year, a total of 602 public officials and employees have been arrested for corruption. The complaints filed represent a joint effort by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the Attorney General, and other offices in Guatemala.

Protests Restart in Guatemala City

Months after the resignation of former President Otto Pérez Molina and former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, protests have restarted in the Guatemala City’s central plaza. While the national corruption scandals still weigh heavily on citizens’ minds, the most recent protests now focus on the country’s healthcare crisis and other actions currently being considered by Congress, including the new budget plan for 2016.

Former Head of Mining Security Flees Police Custody

Alberto Rotondo, the former head of security for the Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources, has escaped police custody. Rotondo faces criminal charges in Guatemala for allegedly ordering security officials at the Tahoe Resources Escobal mine to attack protesters in April 2013. On Monday, November 30 — the day set by Guatemala’s top court for Rotondo to be transferred from house arrest to a maximum security prison — officials arrived at his home only to find that he had fled.

Iván Velásquez Recognized for Achievements

Iván Velásquez, the director of CICIG, was recognized as a world-renowned “challenger” and global thinker in Foreign Policy magazine for his extraordinary work dismantling the La Linea customs fraud scheme, which resulted in the removal of corrupt Guatemalan politicians — including former President Pérez Molina — from office.

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