WASHINGTON— Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement on the Guatemalan government’s effort to immediately close the United Nations International Commission on Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG):

“Today is a sad day for Guatemala. The Guatemalan government’s announcement that it immediately will terminate the mandate of CICIG is not only a violation of Guatemalan and international law, but also a major blow to the Guatemalan people in their continued fight for a fair and just society in which the rule of law prevails. As legal challenges to today’s decision move forward, I urge all Guatemalan political actors to respect the independence of the country’s institutions. In the days ahead, Congress will have to reassess the US relationship with Guatemala to ensure that it respects human rights and the rule of law.

“Finally, I urge the Guatemalan government to ensure the safety of all CICIG personnel – both locally employed and international staff. Any harm done to CICIG staff would only further stain the reputation of the Morales Administration.”

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