The Constitutional Court of Guatemala ruled on Thursday, November 22, to allow Iván Velásquez to return to the country despite a presidential order barring his entry. President Jimmy Morales had filed an appeal to overturn a September 16 ruling by the court to allow Velásquez to return to Guatemala as the head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a joint UN-Guatemala task force responsible for investigating and prosecuting corruption and human rights abuses. However, on Friday, November 23, President Morales made comments that suggested Velásquez would not be allowed to re-enter the country despite the court ruling. Protests in support of Velásquez are possible in the coming days and weeks if he is unable to return to Guatemala.
Protests broke out across Guatemala in September after President Morales decided to end the mandate of the CICIG. The CICIG was formed in 2006 and was successful in prosecuting high-profile cases, including extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, fraud, and a government conspiracy and corruption scandal that involved then-President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti. The investigation resulted in their resignation and arrest.
Individuals in Guatemala are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution.
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