Guatemala President-elect Faces Legal Battle: Alleged Lawfare Attempts to Halt Peaceful Transition in Political Saga

Guatemala President-elect Faces Legal Battle: Prosecutors in Guatemala are making controversial moves to bring charges against President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and Vice President-elect Karin Herrera, aiming to strip them of immunity over a 2022 protest at a public university.

The prosecutors claim that Arévalo’s social media posts encouraged students to take over the university, linking it to damages. Arévalo, from the center-left Seed Movement party, congratulated students protesting a purportedly corrupt rector and accused his party of using campus buildings for the 2023 campaign. Arévalo denounces the actions as a form of “lawfare” and warns of a modern coup.

The prosecutors plan to ask the Supreme Court to remove immunity, alleging crimes committed. Arévalo, in a speech in Guatemala City, criticizes the move as “spurious and unacceptable,” framing it as political persecution that could harm Guatemala.

The U.S. condemns these actions, calling them “brazen efforts to undermine Guatemala’s peaceful transition of power.” This latest development is part of ongoing attempts to challenge Arévalo, known for his anti-corruption stance, who secured a surprising, landslide victory in the August Presidential election amid attempts to sideline opposition candidates.

Edgar Ortiz, a Guatemalan constitutional scholar, sees these legal actions as exceeding reasonable legality, suggesting a strategy to prevent Arévalo and Herrera from assuming office in January through imprisonment.

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