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News > Argentina

Agentina Removes CICIG Security Personnel from Guatemala

  • The United Nations was notified of the troops' departure due to a change in immigration status and safety concerns.

    The United Nations was notified of the troops' departure due to a change in immigration status and safety concerns. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 January 2019

Guatemala refused to extend privileges and immunity to Argentine CICIG security personnel.

Argentine security personnel associated with the Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG ) are returning home, CICIG spokesman Matias Ponce confirmed Wednesday.


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The United Nations, which oversees the anti-corruption initiative against President Jimmy Morales, was notified of the departure due to a change in immigration status and safety concerns.

"The Guatemalan government did not agree to renew the privileges and immunities to the Argentine security contingent that provides functions in the CICIG, and as a consequence, it has announced the change of migratory status they had upon arrival in Guatemala to perform functions in Cicig,” said Ponce.

"After receiving the communication from Argentina, the troops were removed in response to the concerns raised," Ponce said.

Neither the United Nations or the CICIG have commented on the Argentine soldiers' departure.

CICIG’s mandate was slated to end in September, after Morales decided to revoke work visas and expel the organization due to a personal and political dispute. Recent developments and controversies, however, brought forward the deadline.

Several Guatemalan organizations staged a “March for Justice and Democracy” to counter the government’s decision to end the CICIG mandate prematurely.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel announced that the government had reached an agreement with the CICIG after meeting UN Secretary Antonio Gutierrez, who protested the decision, and gave its members 24 hours to leave the country and terminate their anti-corruption mandate.

The CICIG was established over a decade ago to conduct independent investigations and work with the country’s prosecutors. It has often clashed with Morales, whose National Convergence Front is close to military officers responsible for many human rights' violations during the civil war.

The CICIG brought down Morales’ predecessor, Otto Perez, with a corruption probe and sought to prosecute Morales over illegal financing allegations.

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