The United States expressed disappointment on Thursday at Guatemala’s swift appointment of a controversial new anti-corruption investigator, whose dismissal of his predecessor sparked protests from Washington.
Rafael Curruchiche’s “sudden appointment” on Tuesday as head of the anti-corruption unit “does not add confidence in the body’s ability to independently investigate and prosecute corruption cases,” he said. the press State Department spokesman Ned Price.
“Our position remains that it is essential that the FECI can function and that its prosecutors and analysts are empowered to continue investigating cases to maintain the fight against corruption in Guatemala,” he said, using the Spanish acronym for unity.
Opposition MPs accused Curruchiche of corruption, with media claiming that as part of his work to investigate election crimes, he offered protection to businessmen suspected of illegal political financing.
Attorney General Consuelo Porras made the appointment, although President Joe Biden’s administration said last month it had lost confidence and would suspend cooperation after abruptly sacking the former head of the fight against corruption, Juan Francisco Sandoval.
Sandoval, who was awarded an award earlier in the year by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for his anti-graft work, fled Guatemala after his dismissal as he expressed fears for his safety.
The Biden administration has identified the fight against corruption – as well as the fight against poverty, violence and climate change – as a key part of a strategy to stop the mass migration of Central Americans, which has become a political problem. major in the United States. .
© 2021 AFP