Giammattei Urged to Join Fight Against Corruption by Petro in Latest Latin American News Analysis
Tense relations between Guatemala and Colombia after Guatemala’s Prosecution against former head of Cicig, Iván Velásquez
Relations between Guatemala and Colombia have become tense after the decision of the Guatemalan Prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche to take legal action against the former head of Cicig, Iván Velásquez, in the corruption case of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
The Guatemalan president, Alejandro Giammattei, has called for a sane solution for the dispute between the two countries, but the Colombian defense minister, Gustavo Petro also had a different opinion.
Iván Velásquez, 67, was in-charge of Cicig from 2013-2017, a period during which he had fight corruption in Guatemala and dismantled dozens of illegal structures operating within the government institutes. After the announcement of the legal action against him, Colombian president Gustavo Petro called in his ambassador for consultations.
Giammattei responded to the president’s statement with an appeal for a diplomatic route to resolve the differences between the two countries, saying, “Differences between nations must be resolved through diplomatic channels to prevent conflicts from escalating later to places where it’s already hard to get out”.
On the other hand, Petro insisted that understanding in politics means fighting corruption and he used examples of the genocides that happened due to such illegal activities. He wrote on his Twitter handle “Sanity in politics means fighting corruption. Those who allow the mafia to take over the state only lead society to genocide”.
The tension between the two countries has been due the legal action taken by Guatemala against Iván Velásquez which creates strains in their relationship. The two countries are now striving for diplomatic solutions to refrain from any bigger problems in times to come.