Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2023. 1:01 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Friday, Guatemala’s Attorney General’s office formally requested that President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and others be stripped of their immunity.
According to the Associated Press, the request was made so that the office can proceed with its investigation for allegedly encouraging the student occupation of the country’s only public university.
Cultural Heritage prosecutor Ángel Saúl Sánchez had indicated that he planned to make the request while federal agents executed search warrants and sought to arrest dozens of members of Arévalo’s Seed Movement party.
Sánchez formally requested that immunity be lifted for Arévalo, Vice President-elect Karin Herrera, 3 lawmakers and a deputy-elect from the Seed Movement.
Stripping them of immunity allows prosecutors to pursue a formal investigation.
Last year, students took over San Carlos University, Guatemala’s only public university, following what they considered the fraudulent election of the school’s new rector Walter Mazariegos.
They said that during the vote by students, faculty and administrators, Mazariegos only allowed those who would vote for him to cast their ballots.
The U.S. State Department had sanctioned Mazariegos for suffocating democratic processes and taking the position of rector after what it called a fraudulent process.
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