(dpa) – A UN-backed anti-corruption mission in Guatemala is a threat to peace in the country, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales told the world body Tuesday.
Thus, he said, the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) would not be extended beyond 2019, he told the General Assembly. He said CICIG had created a “system of terror.”
CICIG was set up as an independent body to support the public prosecutor’s office in 2006, after an agreement between the UN and Guatemala, which needed help in tracking down corruption.
In 2015, it helped force the resignation of previous president Otto Perez Molina, after uncovering a criminal network linked to state authorities. That paved the way for Morales’ election.
But the president and the agency have clashed since then. Earlier this year, CICIG director Ivan Velasquez and the public prosecutors’ office had demanded that Morales’ immunity from prosecution be lifted due to alleged illegal campaign financing.
CICIG has claimed that the source of some 600,000 dollars of Morales’ 2015 election funding is unknown.
Morales has since responded by trying to ban Valesquez from the country. The nation’s top court overturned that order earlier this month.
Velasquez and Guatemala’s Attorney General, Thelma Aldana, were cited by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation this week for “innovative work in exposing abuse of power and prosecuting corruption” in the Central American country.
But Morales says Velasquez is interfering with internal national operations, creating instability.