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The United States rejects the continued efforts to undermine Guatemala’s peaceful transition of power to President-elect Arévalo.  Most recently, the Guatemalan Public Ministry seized electoral materials under the custody of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), called for the forced removal of peaceful protestors, pressed for the removal of the Minister of Governance who protected the right to peaceful protest, and sought to lift the immunity of a member of Congress who publicly expressed concern about these anti-democratic measures.

These acts followed earlier attempts to strip TSE officials’ immunity in addition to raids on their offices and the storage facilities that house elections results records.  Such anti-democratic behavior undermines Guatemala’s democratic institutions and is inconsistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.  We join other regional and international institutions, including the OAS and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in calling for a transfer of power that respects popular will and adheres to the rule of law in Guatemala.

The United States stands with those seeking to safeguard democracy and rule of law in Guatemala.  Under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, we are imposing visa restrictions on over a dozen individuals, and their immediate family members, for undermining democracy and the rule of law.  These individuals include Public Ministry officials and other public and private sector actors engaging in undermining democracy or the rule of law in Guatemala.  The Guatemalan people have spoken.  Their voices must be respected.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future