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Chairman Sires, Ranking Member Rooney Call for Transparent Selection of Judges in Guatemala

Jul 8, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, issued the following statement expressing concern about ongoing efforts to stall the selection of judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in Guatemala:

“As advocates for anti-corruption and respect for the rule of law in Guatemala, we urge the Guatemalan Congress to follow through with their constitutional duty to select judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, in accordance with Guatemalan law,” the Members said. “The Guatemalan Congress’ ability to select an independent judiciary is a measure of its commitment to democracy, respect for the rule of law, and standing in the country’s fight against corruption. Judges should be selected in a transparent manner, on the basis of their professional qualifications, integrity, and commitment to justice, and vetted for potential conflicts of interest.”

“We are deeply concerned by recent reports that members of the Guatemalan Congress and criminal organizations are taking legal actions against the Constitutional Court that are stalling the selection process,” the Members continued. “We are watching the events in Guatemala closely and we caution the members of Guatemala’s Congress not to take steps that would undermine efforts to fight corruption. The recent U.S. designation of Gustavo Alejos for his involvement in significant corruption demonstrates that the United States is prepared to use all tools at its disposal to hold corrupt actors in Guatemala accountable and remains committed to supporting the Guatemalan people in their fight against corruption.”