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Guatemala top court blocks UN team’s removal

The Constitutional Court of Guatemala on Wednesday blocked the removal of the UN’s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

The CICIG is responsible for investigating corruption in Guatemala. The agreement to establish the CICIG was first ratified in August 2007. The fifth extension of the agreement extended the presence of the CICIG until September 3, 2019. President Jimmy Morales requested the fifth extension in April 2016.

Morales had ordered an end to the commission after the commission began investigating Morales and his family. After the Constitutional Court’s decision, the Supreme Court of Guatemala stated it would allow Guatemala’s Congress to receive a petition that would remove the prosecution immunity of the Constitutional Court Justices.

Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court ordered the release of a member of the CICIG who was detained at the airport upon arrival. The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers called on Guatemala in September 2018 to ensure independence of judges. Former Guatemalan Vice President Baldetti was sentenced to over 15 years in prison on corruption charges in October. The CICIG helped with the investigation into Baldetti.