Guatemala. According to
countryaah, President Jimmy Morales was increasingly hired
during the year by corruption charges against parties in his
government coalition FCN-Nación (National Convergence Party)
and people in his vicinity. In September, the State
Prosecutor's Office announced that some of the founders of
FCN-Nación would be investigated for, among other things,
illegal money donations to Morale's 2015 election campaign
and contacts with organized crime.
At the same time, questions were raised about the
election of Silvia Patricia Valdés Quezada in September to a
new chair of the electoral court because she was accused of
going to the president's affairs. Morale's integrity was
also questioned in connection with a state of emergency
issued by him the same month that his son José Manuel and
brother Samuel Everardo were banned from the State
Prosecutor's Office because of charges of corruption.
In June, new revelations were made about widespread
corruption under former President Otto Pérez Molina, and
seven members of Congress and three former members were
suspected of crimes. The following month, it was announced
that Pérez Molina himself would face trial for bribery to
the tune of $ 38 million.
Doubts about the rule of law in the country also arose in
connection with the state prosecutor Thelma Aldana, who was
active in the processes that led to President Pérez Molina's
resignation in 2015, received death threats. Both domestic
human rights groups and the UN-supported Commission on
Impunity (CICIG) expressed concerns about Aldana's security.
Morales was also hired by massive protests in July from
teachers and healthcare professionals, which required
greater public sector investment to address major quality
deficiencies in public service. As a direct consequence of
the protests, Minister of Health Alfonso Cabrera resigned a
few days later, the third minister to do so during Morale's
first six months as president. The prison sector was also in
critical condition. In July, a riot broke out at El Pavón
Prison outside Guatemala City, leading to the death of 14
people and the resignation of the country's prison sector
Carlos de León Zea.
Tensions with neighboring Belize increased after repeated
border interim zones at the beginning of the year but were
somewhat dampened after a meeting between President Morales
and Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow in April. Morales
has taken a more hard line than its predecessors in the
border conflict that has long disrupted relations between
the two countries.