Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attempted on Monday to expel Ivan Velasquez, the head of a U.N. commission investigating the president’s campaign finances. Guatemala’s Constitutional Court blocked the order within hours, and the court officially ruled against the president on Tuesday (Reuters 1). Following the attempt, several Guatemalan cabinet members resigned, and civilians in opposition to the president’s order took to the streets to call for his resignation. Counter demonstrators condemned Colombian-born Velasquez for getting involved in Guatemalan affairs (Reuters 2).
Velasquez is leading an investigation into $800,000 of unaccounted campaign funds from Guatemala’s 2015 election (AP). Morales, whose slogan for the campaign was “neither corrupt nor a thief,” denies any wrongdoing (BBC). Immediately prior to Morales’ mandate for the assistant secretary-general of the U.N. to leave the country, Velasquez declared his intention to remove the president’s legal immunity. This investigation comes just two years after former President Otto Perez Molina’s resignation, which followed allegations of corruption, discovery of fraud and weeks of protest.
Tags: Guatemala, United Nations, politics