President of Guatemala Wins Vote to Preserve His Immunity

The New York TimesGuatemalan legislators on Monday overwhelmingly voted to keep President Jimmy Morales’s immunity from prosecution, a measure that protects him from a campaign finance investigation that has roiled the country’s politics.

The vote in Congress rejected a request from Guatemala’s attorney general and the head of a United Nations anticorruption panel, which last month described a series of violations by Mr. Morales’s party and two other parties during the 2015 election campaign.

With so many legislators embroiled in questions over campaign finance, the congressional vote not to remove the president’s immunity appeared to be a decision to close ranks against the investigation.

“It was a predictable decision,” said Alejandro Rodríguez, director of justice programs for Impunity Watch, a human rights organization. “Corrupt politicians are trying to prevent the country from changing.” …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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