The United States is pressing Guatemalan officials to uphold democratic principles and facilitate the inauguration of president-elect Bernardo Arévalo, as Washington fears a possible coup d’etat in the Central American country.
Since his election, Arévalo has faced a barrage of legal hurdles and intimidation tactics aimed at delegitimizing his election. His party workers have been arrested, and attempts have been made to suspend his political party and remove his immunity.
To make matters worse, the country’s Attorney General even declared the election results null and void. However, the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) responded by saying “the results are validated, formalized and unchangeable.”
American lawmakers who recently visited Guatemala reported a clear unwillingness from some to relinquish power to the anti-corruption campaigner, who is scheduled to take the oath of office on January 14.
Meanwhile, the US State Department has also upped the pressure, revoking visas for hundreds of Guatemalan officials implicated in undermining the election and issuing strong warnings against any attempts to obstruct democracy.
Arrest warrants for electoral workers, attempts to strip Arévalo of his immunity, and even calls for a re-election, all point towards a desperate attempt to thwart the will of the Guatemalan people, the State Department has warned in a statement.