Berliner TageBlatt - US designates Guatemalan AG for 'significant corruption'

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US designates Guatemalan AG for 'significant corruption'
US designates Guatemalan AG for 'significant corruption' / Foto: © AFP

US designates Guatemalan AG for 'significant corruption'

The United States officially designated Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras for "significant corruption" Monday, just hours after she was reappointed for a second four-year term.

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US Attorney General Antony Blinken called out Porras' "pattern of obstruction" in corruption investigations in a statement announcing the designation.

"During her tenure, Porras repeatedly obstructed and undermined anticorruption investigations in Guatemala to protect her political allies and gain undue political favor," Blinken said.

Her husband, Gilberto de Jesus Porres de Paz, was also included in the designation, Blinken said.

Her tenure as Guatemalan attorney general was renewed earlier Monday, with President Alejandro Giammattei saying Porras was "a professional who meets all the constitutional requirements."

Porras had already been added to a list of corrupt and undemocratic actors last year, with the United States saying it had "lost confidence" in Porras after she sacked the country's top anti-corruption prosecutor.

Critics say his replacement is a defender of corruption and persecutor of the opposition.

Porras has had at least six anti-corruption prosecutors arrested on charges ranging from obstruction of justice to abuse of authority.

Earlier this month, another resigned following "pressure and threats."

The prosecutors were fired amid ongoing investigations of politicians charged with graft and claimed their treatment was "revenge" from those in power.

But Giammattei said Porras received the unanimous support of a commission tasked with vetting candidates for the position of attorney general.

Porras, in turn, vowed to do her work without being influenced by "bias or ideology" and with a focus on "the fight against corruption."

She complained of "constant attacks" from "people seeking biased justice."

M.Ouellet--BTB