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UN, EU blast weakening of Guatemala anti-corruption efforts


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GUATEMALA CITY — The United Nations and the European Union have condemned the attacks on prosecutors and the weakening of anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala.

Volker Turk, head of the United Nations human rights office, has criticized the Guatemalan government over the allegations it has made against former prosecutors and whistleblowers like Virginia Laparra.

“The judiciary is in decline and judicial institutions continue to be criminalized,” Turk said on Tuesday.

Laparra is a former prosecutor who was sentenced to four years in prison last week for abuse of power, after she accused a judge of leaking sensitive information. A judge ruled that she did not have the authority to report the leak.

The judge she accused of the leak was administratively sanctioned, which was later overturned.

Laparra said the charges were made in retaliation for her work with a United Nations anti-corruption commission that the government had terminated. Amnesty International has listed Laparra as a prisoner of conscience.

The administration of President Alejandro Giammattei has brought charges against several former anti-corruption officials and judges, prompting many of them to flee the country.

European Union spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday that Laparra’s sentencing was concerning amid deteriorating legislation, continued threats and legal actions against lawyers and prosecutors. independent and judge.

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