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US imposes visa restrictions over anti-democratic actions in Guatemala

USA / GUATEMALA – The United States stands with those seeking to safeguard democracy and rule of law in Guatemala and ensure that the will of the Guatemalan people is respected. 

“Under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, we are taking steps to impose visa restrictions on nearly 300 Guatemalan nationals, including over 100 members of the Guatemalan congress, as well as private sector representatives and their family members for undermining democracy and the rule of law.  The United States will continue to take steps to impose such restrictions on any individuals undermine Guatemala’s democracy,” said the US Department of State in a press statement. 

“The United States strongly condemns ongoing anti-democratic actions by Guatemala’s Public Ministry and other malign actors who undermine Guatemala’s rule of law. Most recently, the public ministry’s announcement of arrest warrants for electoral workers and party representatives, its request to remove the immunity of president-elect Arévalo, and its attempts to annul electoral results constitute evidence of its clear intent to delegitimize Guatemala’s free and fair elections and prevent the peaceful transition of power. These actions are plainly inconsistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” 

These brazen measures follow a long list of other anti-democratic actions including the lifting of immunity of electoral magistrates, the political targeting of opposition members, the intimidation of peaceful protestors, raids on storage facilities housing election result records, and the opening of ballot boxes.

“Today’s actions reinforce previous measures by the US government to promote accountability for corrupt and undemocratic actors in Guatemala and to support the will of the Guatemalan people. The Guatemalan people have spoken. Their voices must be respected,” concluded the US Department of State. 



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