Guatemala: Of Betrayals and Strategies

Carolina Vásquez Araya
Photo: Bill Hackwell

While the Giammattei government suffocates justice, the empire is silent. The network woven by the Pact of Corrupts is strong and compact; its operators -political sector, business elite, Army, judicial system and criminal organizations- act in close coordination with the purpose of stifling any attempt to reestablish the rule of law in Guatemala. To this end, they count on the silence of a fearful citizenry, a network of media sold to their interests and the passive acquiescence of professional associations and universities.

In the gallery, observing the spectacle, are the State Department, the Organization of American States and, of course, the United Nations Organization with its main operator, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, whose representative in that country has not been more than another of the diplomatic presences lacking incidence. The latter institution, whose objectives include “eradicating poverty and reducing inequality”, has been unable to impose its mission in the most corrupt and impoverished country on the continent.

The asphyxiation of the legal system is a threat to democracy, but also to the lives of its best operators and has become a pitiful and shameless spectacle of the Pact of Corrupts led by the President and his acolytes. With almost a score of justice operators in exile for having dared to investigate and prosecute scandalous corruption cases; and with journalists and ethical investigators threatened for revealing the details of their crimes, Guatemala has been installed in the less than honorable place of the democracies on the verge of extinction.

However, what is happening at the domestic level has an important impact at the regional level. If the United States and the UN, as one of the bodies in which it has first level influence, do not seem interested in supporting local efforts to reestablish the rule of law, suspicion is focused on much more relevant interests, such as keeping Guatemala among the group of nations subjected to its neoliberal policies. The fear, in those instances of power, is the prospect of another popular government finally being installed in Central America, as has happened in Honduras and, to avoid it, they do not lose sleep over the destruction of their institutionalism.

The betrayal of the one who is considered the epitome of freedom and democracy in the world has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. On the contrary, it is firmly based on a geopolitical and economic leadership in which human rights and the welfare of the people have no place. They are even less concerned about the co-optation of justice and the persecution and criminalization of their best judges, prosecutors and social communicators.

The struggle, therefore, must be internal and without quarter. The war against justice is not only waged in the Courts, but in all political, economic and institutional instances and its rottenness encompasses any sphere of society. The decision-making spaces -Courts, Congress and State institutions- have been taken by force by a criminal group whose power is consolidated thanks to the silence of a citizenry forced to contemplate how they plunder their patrimony and destroy their resources. Everything depends on the response of the people and how long it takes for them to react to this dictatorship project.

The future of Guatemala only depends on a positive citizen response.