The United States is pausing certain programmatic cooperation with Guatemala’s Attorney General’s Office in response to the firing of its top anti-corruption prosecutor.
Guatemalan Attorney General María Consuelo Porras’s decision to remove Special Prosecutor Against Impunity, or FECI, Chief Juan Francisco Sandoval indicates a “lack of commitment to the rule of law and independent judicial and prosecutorial processes,” said Deputy State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter.
“As a result, we have lost confidence in the attorney general and their decision – and intention to cooperate with the U.S. Government and fight corruption in good faith.”
Deputy Spokesperson Porter explainwd that the U.S. "concern is with the implications of this decision for the rule of law and regional stability.”
Chief Sandoval, who was dismissed on July 23, fled Guatemala the same day. Protests in Guatemala have called for Attorney General Porras’ resignation.
The United States has made clear to the highest levels of the Government of Guatemala its view that the fight against corruption is essential to the goals of strengthening the rule of law, increasing economic opportunity, and addressing the root causes of irregular migration. Deputy Spokesperson Porter stressed that the “message has been delivered consistently, without equivocation, by our ambassador in Guatemala and during recent visits of high-level U.S. Government officials that reaffirmed the partnership of our two nations, including the visits of Vice President Kamala Harris, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zúniga.”
As a result of the attorney general’s actions, the U.S. government is temporarily pausing certain programmatic cooperation with the Public Ministry while it conducts a review of U.S. assistance. The United States is watching closely for additional actions that would undermine the rule of law or judicial independence in Guatemala.