Guatemala. US and UN condemn harassment against electoral court

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The US government and the UN condemned judicial harassment of the electoral court of Guatemalaand said that it "undermines" the peaceful transition of power after the presidential elections in that country.

"The United States is gravely concerned" after a new raid on the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

This is an "undemocratic action (that) undermines Guatemala's democratic institutions" he said. "The Guatemalan people have spoken. "His voice must be respected."

Guatemalan prosecutors They confiscated electoral material on Saturday guarded by the TSE to supposedly investigate allegations of irregularities in the June elections.

In a chaotic scene, police officers and representatives of the prosecutor's office They struggled with TSE magistrates while they confiscated boxes containing voting records.

After the elections, local and international observers had declared that there was no evidence of fraud.

According to Judge Gabriel Aguilera, the seized voting records corresponded to the first electoral roundwhich surprisingly led the social democrat Bernardo Arévalo to a victory in the runoff in August.

Bernardo Arévalo accuses a coup d'état

Arévalo has denounced the successive operations of the prosecutor's office against the TSE as a "coup d'état in progress" intended to prevent him from assuming the presidency in January to replace the right-wing Alejandro Giammattei.

Attorney General Consuelo Porras and Prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, in charge of operations against the highest electoral body, are designated by the United States as "corrupt" and "undemocratic."

The State Department said it was "taking active steps to impose visa restrictions on people who continue to undermine democracy of Guatemala, including current and former members of Congress, judicial actors, and any other person who engages in such behavior."

United Nations external concern for democracy in Guatemala

For his part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, expressed on Sunday from Geneva his deep concern about the new onslaught.

"These events are the latest in a long line of very worrying actions taken in recent weeks, which - taken together - appear designed to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and undermine the rule of law.

"Reports of harassment and intimidation against election officials and elected persons, including the president-elect and vice president-elect, are especially disturbing," Türk said.

Türk urged the Guatemalan authorities to "refrain" from any new attempt "to defy the will of the popular vote."

Given the tense situation in Guatemala, the high commissioner expressed their concern about the risk of violence and requested that the right to peaceful assembly be fully respected.

The European Union and the Organization of American States spoke out on Saturday against the new raid.

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