15 avenida 15-16 zona 1, Barrio Gerona

Publicado el 13 Septiembre 2023

Honorable Chairman of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

I cordially greet you, wishing you infinite success in your daily activities. As required hereby, I am reaching out to you by taking into serious consideration the friendly and cooperative relationship between the Government of the United States and the Public Ministry of the Republic of Guatemala, which has allowed us to achieve consistent progress and achieve outstanding results in strengthening justice, combating corruption, impunity and successfully investigating and prosecuting transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, among others.

Therefore, I extend this communication, with the main intent of expressing my deep concern in regards to the reiteration of unfounded and malicious accusations that were specifically published in your Press Release dated July 14, 2023, which have contributed to the fact that the United States Congress has decided to join in with additional attacks targeting Guatemala, as an evident consequence of the constant misinformation promoted by the State Department against our country.

As it is well known, one of the main responsibilities of the United States Congress is to conduct investigations to oversee the executive branch and so it seems in this opportunity, the turmoil that has been caused by the State Department against our country requires a thorough investigation, considering that the actual facts strongly contradict their wrongful endorsed statements. In this sense, and in order to guarantee transparency and uphold the truth over the prevalence of these lies towards our country, we are extending a prompt invitation to execute this immediate investigation towards these actions, offering full cooperation and transparency, so that the United States of America and the Republic of Guatemala may know the truth.

We have noticed that lately the House of Representatives of the United States has been investigating and exposing around the world, the use of power as a weapon against political opponents; this being precisely this case for Guatemala, in which the State Department has continually promoted untruthful information, aimed wrongful acts and manipulated media in opposition to the Public Ministry, seeking to obstruct justice and influence corruption. Along with these malicious endeavors, they make an effort of undermining the image and function of the Public Ministry amongst the population, and interfere in the duty to comply with its legal, constitutional and legal mandate of being the guarantor of strict compliance with the law.

Respectable Presidents, for it can be seen in your press release of July 14, your request to the Biden administration for further unfair application of “Section 353, Corrupt and Undemocratic Actors, in order to sanction foreign persons who the President determined that have knowingly engaged (1) in actions that undermine democratic processes or institutions, (2) in significant corruption; and (3) in obstruction of investigations into such acts of corruption…”. Resulting five days later, on July 19, 2003, that the State Department had accomplished in a vindictive strategy and mis-use of the purpose of this Report, to have an official of the Public Ministry incorrectly penalized for adhering to the duty to investigate filed complaints by victims of crimes that clearly went against specific State Department political actors` interest. Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), was able to personally verify the immediate attention provided by this investigative entity to guarantee due attention to citizen complaints, thanks to the openness and transparency of the Public Ministry, as a sign of respect for the principles of democracy.

It is no secret, that some officials act on behalf of the State Department causing acts of intimidation and coercing other officials and institutions, so that they do not comply with their legally established duties by arbitrarily and maliciously sanctioning them for not succumbing to their political interests and allies. Without doubt, such erroneous sanctions from these State Department officials only pursue to threaten the independence of Guatemala’s justice system and along with vengeful acts equally cause to damage the reputation and credibility of governmental institutions and of those who strive to uphold the rule of law.

As for us, we abide by the Guatemalan legislation that clearly stipulates the channels and procedures to be followed for reporting possible illegal acts committed by public officials. If such would have been the case, in which the State Department would have had the sufficient supportive evidence against a possible commission of a crime, it would have acted correctly primarily and consequently through the corresponding channels, established in the United States legislation, instead of directly sanctioning and degrading Guatemalan officials, thus violating their human rights and the right to due process. That is why the sanctions promoted by the State Department against the officials of the Public Ministry, caused by lawfully fulfilling their duties, has turn them into condemnable attacks towards our institution. For this reason, we would appreciate that instead of supporting this illegality, as evidenced in your statements published in your Press Release dated July 14, 2023, we would respectfully like to request your time, to go over the information you might require to review, which I can personally make available immediately, for your verifiable purposes as much for the United States Government, with the sole intent to cease the untruthful allegations presented, the constant deliverance of misinformation for our country, and recurrent lies surrounding events in our country, that are transmitted to the United States Government, by specific State Department officials that work conjointly with corrupted actors, that visibly are attempting to hinder Guatemalan justice and protect their corrupt allies. As we constantly have stated and demonstrated, we are an institution that has had all the willingness, commitment and support for the citizens of your country when required, yet visibly it has not been the case for us.

We would like to share how we feel unsettled on how the State Department attained to impose Section 353 sanctions in such an arbitrary, biased and politically motivated manner, without any logical basis or legal support, violating the human rights and the right presumption of innocence of our officials, established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For this reason, I also consider it an accurate opportunity to take under consideration the statement issued by Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, concerning the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, who expressed that “sanctions of this type by the United States of America violate human rights and the right to the presumption of innocence of individuals”.

As the autonomous, objective, impartial institution that the Public Ministry is, responsible for ensuring strict compliance with the law, I would like to express that we intensely decline the false accusations by the State Department that denote a clear ideological and political persecution that only encourage the obstruction of justice, corruption and impunity and negatively affect the rule of law and democracy in Guatemala, thereby causing along an irreparable damage to a solid and strategic ally of the United States such as Guatemala has been throughout the years. As congressional leaders, these actions should be considered to be condemned for illegal interference by these specific officials, that look for self-motivated interests and as aforementioned, their corrupt allies.

In your Press Release, you also state your concern for the “attempt to illegally revoke the legal status for the political party Movimiento Semilla”, to what you also referred to as “a blatant attempt to undermine the will of the Guatemalan people”, which in addition to publicly addressing the situation with this unfounded statement and the lack of veracity to support such assertion; we feel the need to reference once again, that as the Public Ministry of Guatemala, we have acted at all times, in strict compliance with the law, and with immediate response to all filed complaints along with the presented facts introduced by the victims of these crimes, whose rights were violated. You may feel free to review these cases with all supported evidence, which have published, and we urge you to examine.

In this sense and by virtue of other statements and actions of the State Department, it is clear that there is a clear intervention and interference in the internal affairs of Guatemala, a situation that should be overseen by the two congressional foreign affairs/relations committees.

In reference to two previous occasions, firstly on July 28, 2021, and secondly on March 3, 2023, the Attorney General of the Republic and Chief of the Public Ministry María Consuelo Porras Argueta has extended cordial invitations to the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Antony J. Blinken, with the purpose of designating personnel of the Department of State to visit the Public Ministry with the objective to make them aware of the spurious allegations that resulted of the removal from office of Mr. Juan Francisco Sandoval, who has been accused of the possible commission of crimes and also has issued current arrest warrants; the once again, taking upon the occasion of this communication, I would like to reiterate the invitation.

It is substantial that they can obtain the information from an official source and know the veracity of the facts, as it happened in his country, when several members of Congress questioned the State Department about the suspicion of a plan to interference by the Nominating Commission for Attorney General of the Republic and Chief of the Public Ministry to prevent the reelection of Mrs. Porras Argueta, of which, at the moment, no action has been publicly disclosed in this regard.

It is also necessary to consider that notwithstanding the arbitrary actions promoted by the State Department, the Department of Justice, has acknowledged Mrs. Porras Argueta`s dedication and work ethics she has executed during her term of office, recollecting her efforts, in a Press Release dated March 16, 2023, titled The Department of Justice announces historic extraditions of Guatemalan people smuggling at the Joint Task Force Alpha Summit, manifesting that “The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced the first extraditions from Guatemala to the United States on charges of people smuggling resulting in death, and the first extraditions of Guatemalan people smuggling to the United States and other crimes, in nearly five years.”

It also adds that “the Department of Justice appreciates the Guatemalan law enforcement entities, that were instrumental in advancing this investigation,” which expressly notes that without our participation none of this would have been possible.

As the Public Ministry, we have always worked hand in hand with the Department of Justice, DEA, FBI, HSI, among other agencies, which can be verified through the representatives of each of these agencies, ensuring an effective and timely fight against crimes that affect both nations and threaten the National Security Strategy of the United States, however, the State Department has issued arbitrary and unfounded sanctions without respecting the right of due process, so this contradiction alone should motivate them to investigate, in order to know the historical facts and truth.

It is worth mentioning, among others, that when Mrs. Porras Argueta took office as the Attorney General of the Republic and Chief of the Public Ministry in May 2018, the Public Ministry had only institutional presence in only 64 of the 340 municipalities of our country.

By 2021, a total institutional coverage was achieved in all 340 municipalities, we have also extradited more people to the United States than the two prosecutors who preceded her in office, as well as we have achieved historic figures in combating drug trafficking, money laundering, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and many other achievements.

We therefore consider it appropriate to invite you to investigate the unfounded and untrue accusations issued by the State Department, which have caused obstruction of justice and illegal intervention in the internal affairs of Guatemala, thereby violating the sovereignty and independence that characterizes a democratic State.

Without further ado, I take this opportunity to reiterate once again our commitment to continue working head-on in the fight against corruption, impunity and transnational crimes.

Respectfully,

Angel Arnoldo Pineda Ávila
Secretary-General
Public Ministry of Guatemala

 

Honorable
Mr. Michael McCaul, Chairman
Committee of Foreign Affairs

Honorable
Mr. Robert Menéndez, Chairman
Committee of Foreign Relations

Honorable
Mr. Kevin McCarthy, Speaker
United States House of Representatives

Honorable
Mr. Steve Scalise, Majority Leader
House of Representatives

Honorable
James Comer, Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Accountability

Honorable
Jim Jordan, Chairman
House Judiciary Committee

 

 

Guatemala, September 12, 2023

Documentos Visuales



Share

MP News - Related

There is no related to this