Guatemala President Proposes Legal Reforms to Remove Top Prosecutor Amid Accusations of Plotting

Guatemala President Bernardo Arevalo has proposed legal reforms aimed at removing the country's top prosecutor, Attorney General Consuelo Porras. Arevalo accuses Porras of plotting against him and alleges that she led efforts to overturn his election victory. Porras, who faces corruption allegations and is under US and EU sanctions, was appointed by Arevalo's predecessor.

Nitish Verma
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Bernardo Arevalo

Guatemala President Bernardo Arevalo

In a bold move to reshape Guatemala’s justice system, President Bernardo Arévalo has proposed legal reforms aimed at enabling the removal of the country’s top prosecutor, Attorney General Consuelo Porras. This initiative comes in response to what Arévalo describes as an orchestrated effort to undermine his presidency.

Why It Matters

The proposed reforms are not just a matter of internal legal procedure; they represent a significant test for Guatemala’s democracy. The outcome of this legislative push could redefine the balance of power within the country’s institutions and set a precedent for political accountability.

President Arévalo, who took office in January following a contentious election, has accused Porras of plotting to oust him and overturn his election victory. Porras, who is under sanctions from the US and EU for corruption, has been a controversial figure since her appointment by Arévalo’s predecessor.

Arévalo’s proposed reforms, which he announced in a televised statement, aim to make the Attorney General’s Office more accountable and prevent its use as a political weapon. The president emphasized the need for the office to maintain its autonomy while operating efficiently.

The legal changes, if passed, would mark a significant shift in Guatemala’s political landscape, where the judiciary has often been accused of being a tool for the ruling elite. Arévalo’s victory in the presidential race was seen as a mandate from the people to fight corruption and promote transparency.

Despite facing opposition in Congress, Arévalo remains determined to see through the reforms. His administration has already taken steps to challenge Porras’s immunity from prosecution, alleging breach of duties, though the Supreme Court has not yet made a ruling on the matter.

The president’s initiative reflects his broader commitment to combating corruption, a promise that played a central role in his election campaign. Arévalo’s Semilla party, which faced suspension over fraud allegations, has been a vocal advocate for reforming Guatemala’s political system.

As the nation awaits the Congress’s response to the proposed reforms, the international community, particularly the US and EU, continues to support Arévalo’s efforts. The president’s actions could have far-reaching implications for the rule of law and democratic governance in Guatemala.

In the coming days, the eyes of the world will be on Guatemala’s Congress as it deliberates on these critical reforms. The decisions made will not only impact the current political crisis but also shape the future of justice and democracy in the country.

Key Takeaways 

  • Guatemala President Bernardo Arévalo has proposed legal reforms aimed at enabling the removal of the country’s top prosecutor.
  • Arévalo accuses Attorney general Consuelo Porras of plotting to oust him . 
  • Attorney general Consuelo Porras, is already under US and EU sanctions for corruption. 
  • Arevalo will present the reforms to the opposition-majority Congress on Monday. 
  • Former lawmaker, diplomat and sociologist Arevalo, 65, won the presidency with a huge majority on a promise to fight corruption.