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  • Attorney General Thelma Aldana says that even the assistance of the United Nations' International Commission Against Impunity is not enough.

    Attorney General Thelma Aldana says that even the assistance of the United Nations' International Commission Against Impunity is not enough. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 March 2018
Opinion

"People are not bored in Guatemala. People are tired, they are outraged by political corruption," Attorney General Thelma Aldana said.

Guatemala isn't giving up its fight against corruption easily, warns Attorney General Thelma Aldana in a new call for state funding to help eliminate the culture of impunity.

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"People are not bored in Guatemala; people are tired, they are outraged by political corruption, but we are just beginning in the fight against corruption, to which are added more and more Guatemalans," Aldana told the Organization of American States (OAS).

Even the assistance of the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) is not enough, Aldana said. The judicial system "is weak" and perpetuates impunity for the privileged ruling classes.

"It is a justice system designed by politicians to generate impunity," she said. For 90 percent of the country, the justice system is out of reach: only 39 out of 340 municipalities have a prosecutor's office.

Aldana has been an advocate since the 2015 corruption scandal involving numerous officials, including former President Otto Perez Molina (2012-2015).

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After his failed attempts to expel former CICIG Director Ivan Valasquez, incumbent President Jimmy Morales is also not to be trusted, the attorney general said.

In October, Velasquez said that because of CICIG oversight, the government has reformed laws against organized crime, money laundering and drug trafficking to reinforce political transparency. The commission has also created a witness protection program.

Velasquez announced other initiatives in store, as well as the political and legal proposals needed to end government corruption and impunity.

During Friday’s conference, Aldana praised the CICIG move to push penalties: "a way to culture legality" through fear of the consequences, she said.

On the 2019 general elections, Aldana said she believes that by progressing with legal campaign financing, "We can think that we are building a new country."

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