Home » The US sanctioned a close collaborator of the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, for corruption

The US sanctioned a close collaborator of the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, for corruption

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The US sanctioned a close collaborator of the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, for corruption

The United States Sanctions Close Collaborator of Guatemala’s President for Corruption

The United States has sanctioned Luis Miguel Martínez Morales, a close collaborator of the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, for corruption, the Treasury Department announced in a statement on Friday. According to the statement, Martínez Morales was at the head of a controversial government entity that was dissolved amid suspicions of irregularities.

The Undersecretary of Financial Intelligence of the Treasury, Brian Nelson, stated that Martínez Morales “sought to take advantage of his privileged position for personal benefit at the expense of the Guatemalan people.” The corruption allegations against him include abuse of his influence in the illegal awarding of government contracts, as well as requesting “large bribes” in the context of purchasing Russian Sputnik V vaccines against the coronavirus.

As a result of the sanctions, the United States has blocked all of Martínez Morales’ properties and assets in the country, preventing him from using and benefiting from them while his situation is clarified before justice.

Martínez Morales’ relationship with President Giammattei dates back many years, but his official arrival in government spheres occurred in 2020, a few months after Giammattei took office. The controversial Center of Government, which Martínez Morales was in charge of, received criticism for duplicating functions of the Vice Presidency and was subsequently dissolved.

The Treasury Department also mentioned that, during his time directing the Center of Government, Martínez Morales was “one of the most powerful unelected officials” in Guatemala and remains “one of the most powerful and influential in the Giammattei Administration.”

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This latest sanction comes at a time when the ruling party of Guatemala has been trying to sabotage the presidential replacement scheduled for January 2024, which has been designated by the President-elect as a “coup d’état.” The United States has expressed support for those seeking to safeguard democracy and the rule of law in Guatemala.

In order to ensure an orderly transition and compliance with the will of the people, a delegation of officials from Washington recently traveled to Guatemala to discuss issues of governability and strengthening democracy.

Since 2021, the United States has kept 25 Guatemalan individuals and entities accused of corruption and undermining democracy and the rule of law on its blacklist. This latest sanction adds to the ongoing efforts to combat corruption and support democratic processes in Guatemala.

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