Civil Society Organizations Criticize anti-CICIG statement from OAS Secretary General
Ten regional and international human rights and law organizations have expressed their dismay over an attack this week by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, on Guatemala’s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
In a tweet issued on Monday, April 8, Almagro expressed the need to ensure that Guatemala’s forthcoming presidential elections are conducted properly, and that the country’s electoral commission (TSE) be allowed to work “without the influence of external factors, including CICIG.” His comments were made in the context of a campaign by political actors opposed to CICIG to question the impartiality of the TSE.
In a joint statement in response, the ten organizations, including the Justice Initiative, deplored Almagro’s comment as an entirely unwarranted and misguided representation of CICIG’s important achievements in Guatemala.
Almagro’s tweet followed his meeting in Washington D.C. with the presidential candidate of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) party, Sandra Torres, and her running mate, Carlos Raúl Morales.
The organizations said Almagro’s remarks were particularly regrettable given the role the OAS will play in deploying poll monitors to Guatemala for the election on June 16 of this year.
The organizations joining this statement are: Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), Guatemala Human Rights Commission, Impunity Watch, Lawyers without Borders Canada, Open Society Justice Initiative, OXFAM, Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).