Protest the Targeting of Anti-Corruption Officials – Take Action Now!
The Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office since February 10 has intensified its targeting of independent judges, prosecutors, and attorneys involved in the fight against corruption. Over a five-day span, the Attorney General’s Office has issued six arrest warrants. Five of these defenders of judicial independence have been arrested.
Attorney Leyli Indira Santizo Rodas, former President of the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG), has been arrested; Eva Xiomara Sosa, former prosecutor with the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), has been arrested; Willy Roberto Racanac Lopez, an assistant prosecutor with FECI, has been arrested; Paola Escobar, also an assistant prosecutor with FECI, has been arrested; Aliss Moran, a former assistant prosecutor with FECI who resigned in January, had her house raided on February 16 and was arrested, after presenting herself voluntarily, on February 17; and Rudy Manolo Herrera Lemus, a former FECI prosecutor, has an arrest warrant pending.
These arrests are occurring in the context of revelations in the Salvadoran daily El Foro that President Alejandro Giammattei funded his election campaign illegally, receiving $2.6 million in exchange for granting contracts to particular construction companies.
Please write to Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez at the Guatemalan Embassy in DC. Express profound concern about the systematic targeting of judicial personnel working for justice and transparency in Guatemala. Urge the Ambassador to ensure that defenders of transparency, justice, and the rule of law be allowed to do their work without hindrance. Demand that the lives and physical integrity of those arrested be guaranteed, that due process is ensured, and that spurious criminalization of human rights defenders be brought to an immediate end.