The Colombian Defense Minister, Iván Velásquez.DANIEL ROMERO / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO (DANIEL ROMERO / ZUMA PRESS / CON)
Guatemala is experiencing a fierce counterattack from the corrupt affected by the investigations of the International Commission against Corruption (CICIG) backed by the United Nations (UN) and led by the Colombian jurist Iván Velázquez.
Accompanied by a team of foreign and Guatemalan specialists, the Colombian jurist revealed at least a hundred mafia networks of politicians, businessmen, drug traffickers, the military and officials looting the Guatemalan treasury.
This unprecedented action in a country where justice never knocked on the door of the powerful sectors led to a fusion of legal and illegal elites known in the country as a "corrupt pact", which retook and has concentrated all the power of the State since the departure of CICIG.
The purpose of this amalgamation of spurious interests is to erase the advances and traces of the anti-corruption experience led by the CICG, which died because of its success.
On the one hand, persecuting the justice operators who presented the cases against the criminal networks, sending them to prison or exile.
On the other hand, eliminating judicial processes against the members of these networks through the vulgar manipulation of the most elementary principles of law.
Additionally, they have implanted a narrative that presents the corrupt as victims and vindicates them,
The recent accusation filed by the Guatemalan prosecutor's office against former CICIG officials, including the current Colombian Defense Minister, is part of this effort.
The accusation is for having signed a collaboration agreement with Odebrecht representatives, a routine instrument in the prosecution of large corruption cases.
the most impactful corruption scandal in the history of Latin America, affected officials, politicians and businessmen from 12 countries in the region.
The collaboration agreements were the legal instruments that made it possible to investigate, accuse, and sentence for the first time the rotten apples of the Latin American elites, in a continent sadly known for its caudillista history and its socioeconomic gaps.
The agreement signed by CICIG sought to know details about the delivery of a bribe for 18 million dollars and compensation for the same amount for the country.
With this accusation they intend to accuse the investigators of the embezzlement that meant a contract for the construction of a highway that was not completed and for which the Government of the day never took legal action despite the evident embezzlement.
On the other hand, if they make progress in dissolving the legal proceedings against the two politicians involved in this case as recipients of the millionaire bribe, one of whom has already regained his freedom while the other flaunts his innocence.
The corrupt live at ease in Guatemala, they are empowered, and now the alliance in power seeks to legitimize corruption and shield itself from any attack or complaint that affects its interests, closing or co-opting all institutional and citizen spaces.
The three powers of the State and practically the entire institutional framework respond to the dictates and business agenda of the "corrupt pact."
The ruling alliance, which includes the entire justice apparatus under its orders, is used to fabricating cases against independent justice operators without suffering any cost within the country given the cooptation of all institutions.
For that reason, he underestimated the effect that the indictment would have on Velázquez, who, by the way, also suffered strong attacks from his enemies in Colombia who were in government when he served as CICIG commissioner in Guatemala.
The pendulums of power have swung in both countries, the Colombian right in opposition and the corrupt Guatemalans in command of the Central American state.
He is not surprised then that the accusation against Velázquez has been so celebrated by the Andean opposition, and almost in unison, they ask for the removal of the minister from the portfolio, considering as legitimate the accusations coming from his ideological peers in Guatemala.
The tension between the two governments will undoubtedly affect the good commercial relationship and investment in each of the countries.
Colombia is the Latin American country with the highest direct investment in Guatemala in the last decade, while Guatemalan businessmen see the Andean country as a gateway to the southern cone, increasing their investments.
Corruption once again becomes an obstacle to economic development, which reduces opportunities and increases inequality, stimulating phenomena such as irregular and forced migration.
Corruption also stimulates and facilitates the cooptation of States by criminal networks, creating spaces where transnational crime proliferates and from which it operates.
Thus, corruption in Guatemala resonates in other countries in the form of a migration crisis or as a threat to global security.
The insubstantial and excessive attack against Velázquez has achieved an opposite and unexpected effect for the ruling alliance in Guatemala, which had been carrying out its mission of persecuting and attacking national justice operators without suffering much cost given the scant international attention on what is happening in the country. .
The shadow of Velázquez, who caused so many hours of sleep and nightmares to the mafias embedded in the Guatemalan State during his tenure at CICIG, persecutes and strikes them again internationally.
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