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Guatemalan Prosecutor's Office Accuses President-Elect Arevalo

  • Iximulew Indigenous people march in defense of democracy in Guatemala, Nov. 21, 2023.

    Iximulew Indigenous people march in defense of democracy in Guatemala, Nov. 21, 2023. | Photo: X/ @fundebase

Published 22 November 2023

Attorney General Porras and other judges have been attempting various legal maneuvers to prevent the inauguration of Bernardo Arevalo in 2024.

On Tuesday, Bernardo Arevalo, the president-elect of Guatemala, rejected the accusations brought against him by the Public Prosecutor's Office.


Central American Organizations Reject Repression of Guatemalans

The leader of the SEED Movement defended both his innocence and that of his party members in a case involving alleged damage to national heritage filed on Nov. 16. The Prosecutor's Office aims to implicate Vice President Karin Herrera in the same matter.

"No one should be persecuted for their political opinions. Truth and justice will prevail. We will not let them trample the seed of hope," stressed Arevalo, an academic who was elected surprisingly in this year's elections despite polls placing him seventh or eighth.

Arevalo, who is currently a legislator, was present in Congress, where he warned that the case against him lacks substance.

The text reads, "They demand freedom of political prisoners. In front of the Guatemalan embassy in Washington, migrants demand the release of five detained people whom the Prosecutor's Office implicated in a new case against the elected president Bernardo Arevalo."

Meanwhile, former congressional candidate Marcela Blanco provided her first statement in the legal proceedings initiated on Nov. 16 against 27 people (five currently detained) for an alleged case of damage to national heritage. This is the same case linking Arevalo, Herrera, several Seed Movement legislators, and opposition activists.

During the case presentation, the Prosecutor's Office stated that the accusations stemmed from the forceful occupation of the San Carlos University campus in 2022, when dozens of students protested against the elections at their institution.

Since Sept. 1, Arevalo had warned that the Attorney General Consuelo Porras was orchestrating a coup d'état against him to prevent his inauguration on January 14, 2024.

"This is a political persecution for exposing corruption," asserted Blanco on Tuesday, arriving at the Tower of Courts in Guatemala City before the start of the proceedings.

On Tuesday, Victor Cruz, a judge sanctioned by the U.S., initiated the proceedings through which he will decide whether to charge Blanco and other students and university professors.

Since July 12, the Prosecutor's Office has taken legal action against Guatemala's electoral process, attempting to cancel Arevalo's party and overturn the results of the elections held on June 25 and August 20.

On Tuesday, however, several vehicle caravans demonstrated against the Prosecutor's attempts to prevent Arevalo's inauguration. Caravans from the western part of this Central American country concluded their route in Guatemala City, joining Indigenous organizations and other sectors to protest in defense of democracy.

This protest was called last week by Indigenous communities and supported by the transport guild of the Solola province,.

On Nov. 17, the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres expressed being "alarmed" by the recent actions of the Prosecutor's Office and made an "appeal to the authorities to ensure that the democratic will expressed at the polls is respected."

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