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Tags: guatemala | state department | democracy | election | government | bernardo arévalo | interfere

US Sanctions Guatemalan Officials for Post-Election Crisis

By    |   Tuesday, 31 October 2023 08:27 PM EDT

The United States Department of State announced Tuesday it was pulling the visas of a group of Guatemalan officials over attempts to interfere in their country's transfer of power.

The visas of "a dozen individuals" and their families in Guatemala are being withheld due to the outgoing government's attempts to interfere with President-elect Bernardo Arévalo's ascent to power.

"Most recently, the Guatemalan Public Ministry seized electoral materials under the custody of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, [and] called for the forced removal of peaceful protestors," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller claimed.

In addition, Miller said the ministry "pressed for the removal of the Minister of Governance who protected the right to peaceful protest and sought to lift the immunity of a member of Congress who publicly expressed concern about these anti-democratic measures."

The department later named former Guatemalan Interior Minister Gendri Rocael Reyes Mazariegos, former Energy Minister Alberto Pimentel Mata, and Vice Development Minister Oscar Rafael Perez as three of the officials barred.

It comes after Arévalo shocked Guatemalan officials with his victory, leading to Attorney General María Consuelo Porras launching an election fraud probe that detractors say is meant to stop the transition of power.

U.S. officials have sided with Arévalo over the outgoing government of Alejandro Giammattei, who has not explicitly tried to stay in office but supports Porras' investigation.

"A peaceful transfer of power is critical to Guatemala's democratic future," Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., who was born in Guatemala, said in a Monday statement.

"I pledge to stand against those upholding systemic corruption in Guatemala," she continued. "It is my hope other agencies – including the Department of Treasury – will follow suit with equally strong actions against these anti-democratic actors in Guatemala."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The United States Department of State announced Tuesday it was pulling the visas of a group of Guatemalan officials over attempts to interfere in their country's transfer of power.
guatemala, state department, democracy, election, government, bernardo arévalo, interfere
294
2023-27-31
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 08:27 PM
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