Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018. 11:26 am CST.
By BBN Staff: A total of 38, J8 Jeeps were donated by the United States Government to the Guatemalan military on October 11, 2018.
According to a report from The Washington Post, the donation was made despite the fact that Guatemalan authorities were being accused of using similar US donated Jeeps to intimidate American diplomats and anti-corruption investigators.
The donation of the new Jeeps was given to Guatemala’s Ministry of Defense for use in anti-narcotics operations.
On August 31, 2018, Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales announced that he was not going to renew the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
According to the report, when Morales announced the decision, he was surrounded by military officials. Several Jeeps (some with roof mounted machine guns) reportedly patrolled through the city pausing at the CICIG offices and the United States Embassy in Guatemala.
The Pentagon spokesman stated in an interview that the US is investigating the alleged misuse of the Jeeps, “We are investigating the apparent misuse of the Jeep J8s on 31 Aug., and are working with the Guatemala Government. The U.S. Government takes allegations of misuse of U.S.-donated vehicles seriously and will respond appropriately.”
The Guatemalan government has contradicted the reports offering different explanations for the use of the Jeeps.
The US Embassy in Guatemala issued a statement reporting that since 2013, 148 Jeeps had been donated to Guatemala for anti-narcotics operations.
While the US government has been an avid supporter of the CICIG, the Trump administration remains mum on Morales’ decision to not renew the mandate of the UN commission.
Notably, Guatemala moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May of this year, just after the US government did the same.
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