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The U.N.-sponsored body presented its last activity in the form of a report called "Guatemala: a captured State.”
The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) presented Wednesday its final activity in the country. The house that served as the commission headquarter for 12 years will be demolished.
While CICIG employees removed dozens of boxes, cartons, and papers, the U.N.-sponsored body presented its last activity in the form of a report called "Guatemala: a captured State.”
The document concluded the entity’s work stating that the Central American country remains "a captured state" where groups of interest seek to perpetuate the “status quo” and “impunity.”
The selected few groups acting as “illicit political and economic networks,” have multiplied and diversified over the last quarter of a century, Colombian lawyer and CICIG chief, Ivan Velasquez, said while presentinga review of the activity developed in partnership with the Public Ministry.
The departure of the Commission is officially scheduled for Sept. 3, however, it has taken place gradually over the last few months. According to Velasquez, it is a direct consequence of the cases that revealed and denounced in recent years, the roots of the country’s problem.
Those who have the state in their power did everything they could to achieve the end of the commission’s work and presence in Guatemala, Velasquez expressed.
Outgoing and right-wing President Jimmy Morales decided not to renew the CICIG’s mandate after he banned last year Velasquez from reentering the country from his home country of Colombia. Morales had also ordered the government to withhold the passports of over 30 of CICIG employees.
This all unfolded just days after the commission was getting closer to investigating the president and his National Party (NP), for illicit campaign financing during Morales’ 2016 campaign, among other charges.
Morales said the anti-corruption body is a danger to national security.
The report shows that as investigations progressed over the years, confirming the collusions between groups of interest and the country’s economic and political elites, the latter opting to pact with any actors that would guarantee the impunity, including criminal groups.
This resulted in an "intense campaign against the CICIG” including the payment of lobbying services abroad, smear communication campaigns, and fierce attempts to sabotage the investigations.
"High officials of the executive and legislative bodies" formed part of this "mafia coalition" and participated "actively" in the actions against CICIG in order to "sacrifice the present and future of Guatemala and to guarantee their impunity," the report said.
According to consultant Ricardo Saenz, the groups in question are "dynamic and flexible,” and know how to adapt to new legal and political environments.
These entities occupy most of the state’s structures and play a fundamental role in the country’s political life. For instance, the investigations showed that the electoral results of 2011 and 2015, when former president Otto Perez Molina and outgoing president Jimmy Morales won, were allowed by the illicit electoral financing by these networks.
"Guatemala is today at a crossroads," in which the coalition formed in favor of impunity and the status quo "seeks to stop the dynamics of change" and maintain "poverty, inequality and exclusion, the hijacking of democratic institutions, the predominance of some privileged groups and the plundering of public resources,” the report concluded.
Closing his speech, Velasquez called on all sectors of Guatemalan society that want to keep on fighting the epidemy of corruption, to unite and continue working for the transformation of the country.
Morales, for its part, urged Wednesday urged the Constitutional Court judges not to take into account the "nonsense" presented by the CICIG. He also firmly reaffirmed the decision not to renew the commission’s mandate.
Guatemala’s President-elect right-wing Alejandro Giammattei from the Vamos party, who swears in on January, announced earlier this week the creation of a new body financed by the United States.