The government of President Joe Biden, who sees the fight against corruption as a top priority, said the removal of lawyer Juan Francisco Santoval demonstrated the lack of “good faith” by the Attorney General of Guatemala’s Ministry of Consulate General Consolo Borros.
“As a result, we have lost faith in the Attorney General,” State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters. “The U.S. government is temporarily intercepting planned cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration, while we are reviewing the Attorney General’s-led activities,” he said.
Jalina stressed that the US government is “closely monitoring additional measures in Guatemala that could undermine the rule of law or the independence of the judiciary.”
Santo, led by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blingen earlier this year for anti-corruption campaigns, headed the Office of the Special Advocate for Punishment (FACI). On Friday, Consul Boras fired him for his lack of support for his administration.
Santoval said he had faced several obstacles in his work in Feso and had been told not to question President Alejandro Giamati without the attorney general’s permission. The lawyer argued that this was “against Faisal’s autonomy and independence.”
“Removing him undermines the rule of law and strengthens the sentence. Guatemala are the best,” Blinken said on Twitter on Sunday.
The Biden government sees corruption as a factor in the U.S.’s irregular migration, which has worsened in recent months with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans and other Central Americans on the country’s southern border.
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