By David Toro Escobar
Guatemala City, Jan 29 (EFE). –
Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo failed on Monday in his second attempt to confront Attorney General Consuelo Porras, who has been accused of obstructing his inauguration, when she walked out of a meeting with the president, citing legal obstacles.
“The prosecutor is showing her refusal to comply with the law,” Arévalo declared after his first face-to-face meeting with the attorney general, which lasted only 10 minutes.
The president, who took office on Jan. 14, has been trying to meet with Porras since then, but his attempts on January 24 and 29 were unsuccessful.
Porras did not attend the first meeting, and although she attended the Cabinet meeting on Monday, she decided to leave, arguing that “the law prohibits” her from attending this meeting where executive decisions are made.
However, according to analysts, the internal rules of the Public Ministry allow the attorney general to appear and dialog with ministers.
The attorney general’s refusal, according to Arévalo, has made it difficult to obtain information on how her office is proceeding with the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) since 2018 on violations of freedom of expression and press.
After this inconclusive meeting, the government decided to analyze what legal measures it could take to establish communication with the Attorney General’s Office.
Request for resignation and refusal of the Public Prosecutor.
Tensions between the Attorney General and Arévalo date back to July 12, when she began a four-month crusade of legal actions to try to stop the inauguration of the then-president-elect.
Last week, Porras Argueta said in a video on her official social media accounts that she would not resign, despite numerous requests from civil society and from Arévalo himself, who assured on Jan. 3 that he would ask for her resignation.
Before taking power, the Guatemalan president made it clear that he intended to ask for the resignation of the Attorney General, however, since his inauguration 15 days ago, he has been more cautious on the issue, saying only that the request is still on the table.
Porras’ actions, which included repeated attempts to cancel Arévalo’s party, the Seed Movement, and three requests to lift the president’s immunity, provoked criticism from the international community and three months of protests led by Guatemala’s indigenous peoples.
Porras, who arrived in the prosecutor’s office in 2018, was elected by then-President Jimmy Morales (2016-2020) and renewed by Alejandro Giammattei (2020-2024).
According to the current law of the Central American country, she can not be removed from office unless it is proven that she has committed crimes.
On Monday afternoon, hours after the failed meeting, Porras issued a statement inviting the president to a “working meeting” to discuss “inter-institutional efforts in favor of crime victims” on Feb. 7.
Arévalo considered the first progressive president of Guatemala since the restoration of democracy in 1986, faces the challenge in his first months in office of creating the necessary governmental conditions to advance the promises of fighting corruption that catapulted him to power. EFE