Corruption, Impunity & Institutional Crisis in Guatemala


Event Summary This event has passed.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ attempt to fire Iván Velásquez, the commissioner of the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), has pushed the country towards a constitutional crisis. CICIG, one of the post popular institutions in Guatemala, has led successful corruption investigations against figures in government, business, and organized crime, including then-president Otto Pérez Molina in 2015. CICIG is now investigating financial irregularities on the part of Morales’ presidential campaign. Commissioner Velásquez remains in his position, protected by an injunction from the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, but every day brings fresh uncertainty for him and for Guatemalan democracy. 

This panel of experts will discuss CICIG’s cooperation with the Guatemalan justice system against corruption and impunity, the showdown between Morales and Velásquez, and the implications of the attempted firing for Guatemala and the Morales presidency, as well as the role for the US government and other international actors. 

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John Creamer

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and Western Hemisphere Regional Economic and Policy and Summit Issues (@WHASpeaks)

Claudia Escobar

Former Guatemalan Court of Appeals magistrate; Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy (@ClaudiaEJueza)

Adriana Beltran

Senior Associate for Citizen Security, Washington Office on Latin America (@Adriana_WOLA)


Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)