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Concern Rises Over Anti-Corruption Efforts In Guatemala

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A protestors holds a sign with a portrait of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei outside the National Palace as people attend a rally in support of anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, in Guatemala City, Saturday, July 24, 2021. Sandoval fled Guatemala late Friday, arriving in neighboring El Salvador just hours after he was removed from his post. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

(AP) — The firing of Guatemala’s top anti-corruption prosecutor and new allegations that someone close to the attorney general was soliciting bribes for protection from investigations have increased concerns that what little capacity the country still had to battle corruption is being dismantled from within.

Guatemala’s government has been criticized over the past year for driving out judges known for taking a hard line on corruption. And the head of the anti-impunity special prosecutor’s office was dismissed Friday and fled the country the same night.

The moves are a continuation of the effort that ended the 12-year run of the United Nations’ anti-corruption mission in Guatemala in 2019 under then President Jimmy Morales.

 

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