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Guatemala: European Council sanctions an additional five individuals for undermining democracy and the rule of law

The Council decided today to impose restrictive measures against five individuals for actions that undermine democracy, the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power in Guatemala.

The listings include the Attorney General of Guatemala, María Consuelo Porras Argueta De Porres and three other officials at the Guatemalan Public Prosecutor’s Office – Secretary General Ángel Arnoldo Pineda Ávila, Head of the Special Prosecution Office Against Impunity José Rafael Curruchiche Cucul and prosecutor Leonor Eugenia Morales Lazo De Sánchez – as well as judge Fredy Raúl Orellana Letona.

Those targeted are responsible for undermining democracy, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power in Guatemala.

The listed individuals are subject to an asset freeze, and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. The individuals are also subject to a travel restriction, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

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Today’s decision follows the adoption, on 12 January 2024, of a dedicated framework for restrictive measures in support of democracy and a peaceful and orderly transfer of power in Guatemala. The framework was adopted ahead of the inauguration of democratically elected President Bernardo Arévalo on 14 January 2024, attended by the High Representative Josep Borrell.

““When I travelled to Guatemala City, I did so knowing that the presence of numerous international guests would not only send a strong message of support to democracy in Guatemala, but also a strong signal to obstructionists that circumventing democratic processes would not be tolerated by the international community. The EU stands ready to take further steps to hold those responsible accountable.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The EU remains fully committed to support democracy in Guatemala and stands ready to work closely together with the new government of President Bernardo Arévalo on key issues of mutual interest such as to strengthen the rule of law, enhance sustainable and inclusive economic development and promote social justice to the benefit of the Guatemalan population.

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Background

The sanctions regime in respect of Guatemala was established on 12 January 2024, to hold accountable those obstructing a democratic transition following the 2023 general elections, which resulted in a clear victory of President Bernardo Arévalo, as attested by the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Guatemala.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell attended the inauguration of President Bernardo Arévalo in January 2024.

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/455 of 2 February 2024 implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/287 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Guatemala (including the list of the sanctioned individuals)

Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/457 of 2 February 2024 amending Decision (CFSP) 2024/254 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Guatemala (including the list of the sanctioned individuals)

Guatemala: Council establishes dedicated framework of restrictive measures in support of democracy, press release 12 January 2024

EU Delegation to Guatemala

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