Sat, Jan 19, 2019 - Page 7 News List

US Democrats ask Donald Trump to sanction Guatemala


A group of 47 Democratic members of the US Congress on Thursday urged US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on officials in the government of Guatemala and suspend assistance to the Central American nation.

The legislators, led by representatives Norma Torres and Jim McGovern of California, said the Trump administration has turned a blind eye while Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has sought to end a UN-backed anti-corruption commission working in his country.

The commission has angered Morales by investigating him, his sons and his brother.

“We are deeply concerned that, absent a strong US response, the current government’s pattern of anti-democratic behavior will continue to escalate and that Guatemala will descend into lawlessness,” the legislators wrote in a letter to Trump.

They said the Trump administration should address the situation in Guatemala with sanctions similar to those applied to government officials in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Some Republican members of Congress, such as Senator Marco Rubio, have raised questions about the commission’s activities.

Guatemala’s highest court last week blocked Morales’ decision to unilaterally end the anti-graft commission, known as the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.

Morales says that the commission violated Guatemala’s sovereignty and the rights of suspects.

The commission said in November last year that it has won 310 convictions.

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