Guatemala’s anti-corruption prosecutor fled the country after being fired | Corruption News

Guatemala’s anti-corruption prosecutor fled the country after being fired | Corruption News


Juan Francisco Sandoval (Juan Francisco Sandoval) fled early on Saturday after being fired, a move that sparked international condemnation.

Juan Francisco Sandoval, Guatemala’s anti-corruption prosecutor, fled the country early on Saturday, only a few hours after being fired The move sparked international anger.

Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman Jordan Rodas said Sandoval had been leading the Guatemalan Special Attorney’s Office to combat impunity (FECI) until Friday, when he fled to the El Salvador border early on Saturday morning.

“This decision was made to protect his life,” Rodas told Reuters.

Sandoval arrived in Lacinamas, a border town in El Salvador, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Guatemala City. Human rights activist, Swedish ambassador Hans Magnussen and Associated Press reporter accompanied him to leave Guatemala.

According to the Associated Press, Sandoval said: “Sadly, this has become a situation that many civil servants in Guatemala have to go through because we are of no use to the regime.”

“No matter where I am, I will continue to work for the benefit of the people of Guatemala, but for my own safety, I will not be used by those who use government funds as a way of life,” he said. .

On July 23, Sandoval’s Guatemalan supporters gathered on the streets of Guatemala City [Johan Ordonez/AFP]

Maria Porras, Attorney General of Guatemala Remove The internationally renowned corruption prosecutor resigned from his post on Friday.

A government statement earlier in the day stated that Bolas had removed Sandoval from his post due to “continuous and frequent abuse of the Ministry’s system”. “Given the imminent lack of trust in this relationship, his work was terminated today,” Polas said.

But the move has ignited international criticism, including that the administration of US President Joe Biden has been urging the Guatemalan government and other countries in Central America to eradicate corruption.

Sandoval’s department was originally to deal with an investigation led by the United Nations-backed Guatemala International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), which was withdrawn from the country in 2019.

He is a respected anti-corruption prosecutor with a record of tracing dozens of criminal networks. Together with the former UN anti-corruption delegation, he helped to eliminate the corruption allegations of former President Otto Perez Molina and some members of his cabinet.

Sandoval’s removal on Friday triggered strong opposition from US officials, including the director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power.

“Attorney General Polas’ firing of anti-corruption champion Juan Francisco Sandoval is a heinous move,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. “The people of Guatemala deserve better treatment.”

Ivan Velasquez, the former chairman of the United Nations Anti-Corruption Commission who was deported from Guatemala, called Sandoval’s removal an “illegal, arbitrary and criminal act”.

“The international community should protect him immediately,” Velazquez said.

Guatemalan civil society organizations said they plan to hold a demonstration on Saturday afternoon to protest Sandoval’s dismissal and resignation.

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