Guterres "shocked" by expulsion of UN official in Guatemala

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Secretary General António Guterres meeting with Mr. Ivan Velasquez (Head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala).

The UN Secretary-General has expressed shock over the removal of the head of a UN-backed anti-corruption commission by the President of Guatemala.

Commissioner Iván Velásquez, the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was declared "persona non grata" on Sunday.

Mr Velásquez, a former auxiliary magistrate of Colombia's Supreme Court, was appointed in 2013.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

In a statement released by his spokesperson on Sunday, the UN Chief said he "fully expects Commissioner Iván Velasquez to be treated by the Guatemalan authorities with the respect due to his functions as an international civil servant".

Under Mr Velásquez's leadership, António Guterres noted, the Commission has helped strengthen the justice sector institutions in Guatemala and promote a culture that upholds the rule of law and rejects corruption.

The United Nations established the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in 2007 to help strengthen the country's justice institutions.

The anti-graft body is responsible for investigating criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions since the end of the country's armed conflict in the 1990s.

Its mandate allows it to carry out independent investigations, to act as a complementary prosecutor and to recommend public policies to help fight the criminal groups that are the subject of its investigations.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05”


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