UN / GUATEMALA CICIG

07-Jan-2019 00:02:50
After meeting with UN chief António Guterres, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Polanco told reporters that her government would terminate its agreement with the United Nations which had established the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) within “24 hours”. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / GUATEMALA CICIG
TRT: 2:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: SPANISH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 JANUARY 20019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

07 JANUARY 20019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. Wide shot, videographers
4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala:
“Mister Velásquez, through the media which he used to bring pressure against judges and prosecutors for his own purposes, managed to polarize the Guatemalan society. And it is regrettable that the Secretary-General, in a bid to maintain one person in the position, sacrificed the legitimacy of the Commission. And therefore, we reported to the Secretary-General that within 24 hours the agreement with the United Nations will be terminated by the Guatemalan Government.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala:
“The President of the Republic, in accordance with his exclusive rights under the political constitution of the Republic of Guatemala, and the legal powers under international public law, conventions, and applicable relevant international law, directed the foreign policy of our nation to put an end to the CICIG because it is in grave violation of the agreement with the United Nations.”
7. Wide shot, Foreign Minister speaking to journalists
8. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala:
“No steps have been taken at any point to hamper or hinder the investigations into allegations of electoral corruption. What we are saying is that the CICIG has exceeded its authority. It has hampered the investigations. It is undermining the human rights of Guatemalans. It has acted in counter to the sovereign rights of the State of Guatemala. These are the questions of concern that we raised with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”
9. Med shot, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala:
“I think that the Constitutional Court exceeded its authority in the rulings it recently reached. It seems to be trying to dictate foreign policy for the State of Guatemala and that is the unique preserve of the President through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And so, as the international commission’s work is being concluded at the decision of the Government of Guatemala, then the work of the commissioners will also come to an end.”
11. Wide shot, Foreign Minister leaving press room
12. Wide shot, Guterres and Polanco walking into meeting room
13. Wide shot, Guterres and Polanco photo op
14. Med shot, Polanco signing
15. Zoom out, Guterres and Polanco at meeting
STORYLINE
After meeting with UN chief António Guterres, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Polanco told reporters that her government would terminate its agreement with the United Nations which had established the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) within “24 hours”.

Speaking at a press conference in New York today (07 Jan), Polanco said the head of the CICIG Iván Velásquez used the media to bring “pressure against judges and prosecutors for his own purposes” and managed to “polarize” the Guatemalan society. She added, “It is regrettable that the Secretary-General, in a bid to maintain one person in the position, sacrificed the legitimacy of the Commission. And therefore, we reported to the Secretary-General that within 24 hours the agreement with the United Nations will be terminated by the Guatemalan Government.”

Polanco said her country wished to maintain its internal peace and security and defend its sovereignty and the rule of law. The Foreign Minister said the Commission veered off track when it invoked what she called an alleged fight against corruption. She added that the CICIG was established to combat illegal security apparatuses in the country but failed to do so more than eleven years after its inception.

The Guatemalan Foreign Minister said President Jimmy Morales wanted the investigations into allegations of electoral corruption brought against him to continue adding that “no steps have been taken at any point to hamper or hinder the investigations.” She added however that the CICIG “exceeded its authority” and “hampered the investigations.” She said the Commission had acted “counter to the sovereign rights of the State of Guatemala.”

Asked if the decisions to block the entry of CICIG members into the country and to end the work of the CICIG was in violation of yesterday’s decision by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, Polanco said the Court had “exceeded its authority in the rulings it recently reached” to allow the team entry. She said the Court seemed to be “trying to dictate foreign policy for the State of Guatemala and that is the unique preserve of the President through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”


In a statement attributable to the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, the UN chief strongly rejected Guatemala’s decision to terminate the Agreement which created the CICIG. He said the mandate of the Commission is set to end on 3 September 2019 and, until that date, the UN expected the Government of Guatemala to entirely fulfil its legal obligations under the Agreement.

The statement said Guterres expected the Guatemalan Government to abide by its international undertakings to ensure the protection of CICIG personnel, both international and national, and recalled the important contribution of CICIG to the fight against impunity in Guatemala.
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