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  • Students protest in the capital city of Guatemala on Satuday

    Students protest in the capital city of Guatemala on Satuday | Photo: EFE

Published 2 August 2015

Guatemala has been rocked by a string of high-level corruption scandals in recent months.

Hundreds of Guatemalan students gathered outside the country’s Supreme Court (CSJ) building on Saturday demanding an end to government corruption.

RELATED: Marches in Guatemala Mark Historical Moment

Saturday’s protests, which were organized by various student university groups, took place after the CSJ released a statement saying that it would not tolerate any interference from either state or international organizations in fulfilling their duty to administer justice.

The statement is a likely response to the comments issued by the head of the UN International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), Ivan Velasquez, who stated that the continuing efforts of the CICIG to curb corruption are useless if the judicial branch does not fulfill their responsibilities in the battle against impunity.

"Because of the widespread levels of theft and corruption in our government, we are relieved that the CICIG is here,” Hugo Berreondo told Guatemalan news agency Prensa Libre. 

A CICIG report published last July regarding political party funding revealed the following: 

  • That 25% comes from organized crime;
  • That 50% comes from construction firms involved in public works and other government suppliers; and
  • That 25% comes from the business elite, including business associations and individual donors.

The report suggests that campaign financing involved creating networks of companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through which donations are allocated, and that these networks exist at local, regional, and national levels.

For the past nine weeks, thousands of people have met to demand the resignation, due to allegations of corruption, of President Otto Perez.

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