US-sanctioned attorney general reappointed

Guatemala’s Attorney General Consuelo Porras was reappointed on Monday (May 16) by President Alejandro Giammattei for a new four-year term after the United States put her on a list of personalities “corrupt”.

“I have taken the decision to appoint the current Attorney General, María Consuelo Porras Argueta, to the position of Attorney General and Head of the Public Ministry for the next four years”, said Alejandro Giammattei during an official ceremony. The governor assured that Consuelo Porras met all constitutional requirements and obtained a unanimous vote from the evaluation commission. “This is not just a decision taken lightly”he added. “Media or political accusations (…) have no value in stripping a person of his ability, ability and honesty”he added.

In recent months, the Public Ministry, under the orders of Consuelo Porras, has ordered the arrest of at least six lawyers who worked in anti-mafia bodies in Guatemala, accusing them of irregularities in their work. For the defendants, these arrests are a “revenge” against those who have fought against corruption, which she rejects. In a speech upon taking office for the period 2022-2026, Consuelo Porras said that her commitment to work “without bias or ideology, stand firm”. Returning to her balance sheet, she said that “the fight against corruption” had been one of his priorities during his previous mandate.

Consuelo Porras was placed by Washington in 2021 on a list of“corrupt actors”. This decision was motivated in particular by the dismissal last year of the prosecutor against impunity Juan Francisco Sandoval, then considered a “anti-corruption champion” by Washington. Now in exile in the United States, Juan Francisco Sandoval told AFP in March that he had been removed from his post after reports emerged that he had evidence of “possible bribes” paid to the president by Russian businessmen wishing to manage a port on the Caribbean coast.

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