In some places impeachment is not “off the Table.”
Guatemalan Supreme Court Approves Motion to Impeach President
By Sofia Rada, Truthout
Thursday, 27 August 2015 00:00
Amid a growing political crisis in Guatemala, the country’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on August 25 to approve a motion by the attorney general to impeach the president. The attorney general identified President Otto Pérez Molina as the head of a corruption scheme that led to the resignation of the country’s vice president and a number of other senior officials. The growing crisis has mired the president’s administration for much of this year, but until now the opposition has been unable to get enough votes in congress to lift the immunity granted to Pérez Molina by Guatemalan law.
As opposition to his continuance in office mounted, Guatemalan President Pérez Molina announced on August 23 through a televised address that he would not resign. He categorically denied all claims that he has ties to the corruption scandal, which led to the May resignation of the country’s former vice president, Roxana Baldetti, who was arrested on August 21 and taken to court. The scandal concerns the funneling of taxes into private accounts and offering discounted custom rates for under-the-table payments. Despite growing protests and increasing pressure from those who oppose his continued rule, however, the president continues to reject any responsibility and does not show signs of succumbing to demands for his resignation.
In a statement sent via email to COHA, a U.S. Department of State Spokesperson said the department was closely monitoring the situation in Guatemala. The spokesperson reaffirmed the department’s support in “transparent, independent and impartial legal processes” and noted that the CICIG “has been a proven partner of both the government and people of Guatemala in their efforts to promote the rule of law.” The spokesperson did acknowledge the recent request by Guatemalan prosecutors for the right to impeach the president, but also urged all parties to respect the schedule of national elections and the Guatemalan constitutional process. Earlier in May, the State Department had issued a press release expressing its support of President Pérez Molina and his administration in efforts to address the issue of corruption in Guatemala. The State Department had also urged Guatemalans to support government institutions in investigations and prosecution of corruption and encouraged the president to work closely with the CICIG. However, the CICG has now identified Pérez Molina as complicit in the corruption scandal.
I haven’t forgotten Nancy.