- Title: Anti-graft group's exit to test mettle of new Guatemala leader
- Date: 13th August 2019
- Summary: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (AUGUST 11, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GENERAL VIEW OF RALLY FOR CANDIDATE ALEJANDRO GIAMMATTEI SUPPORTERS CHANTING "PRESIDENT" REUTERS JOURNALIST DURING INTERVIEW WITH GIAMMATTEI (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALA'S NEXT LEADER, ALEJANDRO GIAMMATTEI, SAYING: "They (CICIG anti-corruption body) are going, their mandate is over, the current president didn't want to extend it. I don't see the issue. (Reporter: Will there be a similar commission?) We already have a commission that will work on corruption in Guatemala, it's a Guatemalan commission and we will call for bilateral cooperation with other countries so as to combat impunity and corruption" REUTERS INTERVIEW WITH GIAMMATTEI (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALA'S NEXT LEADER, ALEJANDRO GIAMMATTEI, SAYING: "CICIG (The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala) had good results in putting people in jail, in the La Linea case. But the next day after putting all those from the La Linea in (jail), another stronger Linea came out. Because the problem is the system, not the group that managed it. There is an immediate change in the group, the system creates its own defences. We need to combat the causes." REUTERS JOURNALIST DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALA'S NEXT LEADER, ALEJANDRO GIAMMATTEI, SAYING: "What we need to fight against are the causes (of corruption). For example, taking away discretion in public servants. And this could be done through a digital government, a government that is more electronic and thus it does not necessarily fall on somebody's shoulders to give or not give (a bribe). That is the base of the issue."
- Embargoed: 27th August 2019 03:45
- Keywords: CICIG United Nations corruption Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei Guatemala City
- Location: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
- City: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
- Country: Guatemala
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AS1WNK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Guatemala's next leader, Alejandro Giammattei, has vowed to take on a new tack to fighting corruption in the country and without the help of the United Nation's anti-corruption body for the country.
Conservative Giammattei will not be extending the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a U.N. anti-corruption body that has become the bane of many public officials in Guatemala.
With the aid of prosecutors, the CICIG brought down the last president Otto Perez and then almost toppled his successor - who reacted by ordering the commission to leave the country.
Both Giammattei and his presidential rival had at times been on the wrong end of investigations by the CICIG - as had outgoing leader Jimmy Morales, who accused it of abusing its power in Guatemala before terminating its mandate, effective Sept. 3.
In an interview with Reuters on Sunday (August 11) before election results came in, Giammattei said the CICIG's future was out of his hands, and that he had already assembled a national commission to deal with corruption.
Giammattei said the key lay in removing public sector officials' scope to act without proper oversight. To do that, government business must be made transparent, by putting its transactions online, the veteran bureaucrat said.
Morales, a former TV star who was elected in 2015 vowing to continue the CICIG's crusade, himself became the subject of a probe by the commission, which alleged his campaign had committed financial irregularities.
By then, dozens of politicians and public officials had been targeted by the CICIG. Unlike Perez, Morales survived a congressional vote to strip him of his presidential immunity, and he labeled the CICIG a "threat to peace" in Guatemala.
(Production: Alberto Fajardo, Milton Castillo)
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