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News > World

Sex Assault Case Against Guatemalan President Morales Dropped

  • Jimmy Morales at the National Palace of Culture, speaking against the CICIG in Guatemala. Guatemala City, Guatemala. Sept. 6, 2018.

    Jimmy Morales at the National Palace of Culture, speaking against the CICIG in Guatemala. Guatemala City, Guatemala. Sept. 6, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 November 2018

The Public Ministry needs testimony from the two victims, but they say they're too afraid to testify.

The Guatemalan Public Ministry dismissed the sexual assault accusations against President Jimmy Morales as it considered there was not enough evidence to continue with the legal process.


Guatemala's Jimmy Morales Formally Accused of Sex Abuse

“We don’t have the necessary elements nor collaboration from the victims to allow the Public Ministry to continue with the present cases,” said Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras in a public statement.

Morales was accused of sexual assault in July by former Foreign Minister Edgar Gutierrez who said he was acting on behalf of two young women who claim they were sexually assaulted by the president but were too afraid of filing the complaint themselves.

“There is fear, there is also fear of the stigma (in this) conservative society and prudent family circles,” said Gutierrez when he filed the complaint.

Porras made clear that this action would not prevent the case from being reopened even if new circumstances arise.

The case was first made public by Gutierrez in an opinion piece titled The Worst of the Presidents," in which he accused Morales of using his authority to “abuse young ladies” and called for his resignation.

When the accusations were finally formalized, Porras said she expected to talk with the victims, but it’s not known if this ever happened and their names were never revealed citing their own security concerns.

“Being that sexual crimes are mostly committed in privacy and the necessary information for the investigation is provided by the direct victims, and taking into account that the alleged aggressor enjoys the right to a pre-trial due his condition as president of the republic, in this case the Public Ministry doesn’t have the necessary elements to demand the removal of immunity,” the statement reads.

Porras explained that it’s necesssary for the victims to collaborate in order to continue with the case, which is unlikely given the current situation with Morales and accusations against him.

The Attorney General and the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) have tried to impeach Morales due corruption and illegal financing accusations, but the congress has blocked every probe. To avoid further investigations against him, Morales ordered the expulsion of the CICIG from the country.

Gutierrez's accusations are, however, just one of several faced by Morales. In 2015, when he was still a candidate, a woman accused him of sexual aggression, threats, injuries, coercion and violence against women.

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