Security & Strategic Review - January 2024

GUATEMALA: New supreme court elected after long delay

Amid uncertainty as to whether Bernardo Arévalo, who convincingly won the 20 August presidential run-off election on an anti-corruption pledge, would assume office on 14 January (for more discussion of this see our sister Weekly Report), late last year Guatemala’s legislature acted on a constitutional court (CC) order to pick the new supreme court (CSJ) by mid-December. The appointments had been pending since 2019, held up initially by appeals filed against the process, and then by revelations of interference in the justice system by illicit groups. The CSJ and legislature are both aligned with the so-called ‘pacto de corruptos’, an allusion to corruption in Guatemala’s institutions, which Arévalo has pledged to take on. The latest CSJ appointments are unlikely to assuage impunity concerns.

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