Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Albio Sires, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy, issued the following statement in response to Guatemalan President Giammattei’s selection of Consuelo Porras for a second term as the country’s attorney general:    

“We are disappointed to see that President Giammattei has appointed Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta De Porres to serve once again as Guatemala’s attorney general. Her leadership of the Guatemalan Public Ministry has been marked by severe backsliding in anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala and she has been designated as ‘undemocratic and corrupt’ by the U.S. Department of State. She has actively undermined the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity and dismissed the lead prosecutor, Juan Francisco Sandoval, last summer. In addition to reportedly ordering prosecutors to ignore cases based on political considerations and special interests, she is alleged to have colluded with targets of corruption investigations.    

“In 2018, Ms. Porras oversaw the deconstruction of the United Nations’ International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Since the beginning of her tenure, twenty-four Guatemalan judges and prosecutors have been forced into exile, as the result of Ms. Porras’ efforts to strip dedicated crime-fighters like Judge Erika Aifán of immunity from prosecution as well as her failure to provide protection amid death threats and leaks of personal information.    

“We applaud the Biden Administration’s swift designation of Porras and her immediate family members, making them ineligible for entry into the United States and demonstrating the commitment of the United States government to combatting corruption, and supporting the people of Guatemala in their struggle to uphold democracy and restore faith in their democratic institutions.

“We stand united in the pursuit of accountability and justice in the Western Hemisphere, and uniformly denounce the perpetuation of corruption in institutions charged with upholding the rule of law. We urge President Giammattei to place the interests of the Guatemalan people first by availing himself of the range of legal pathways for reversing this decision and reinvigorating the fight against official corruption.”