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Guatemala's Jimmy Morales Raises CICIG and Velasquez at UN, Then Fake-out at the Stakeout

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 25 – When Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales came to New York to meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on August 25, media mostly Spanish and Inner City Press set up a stakeout in the UN Secretariat lobby, to afterward hear his views on Ivan Velasquez and the future of the CICIG. The meeting began at 5 pm, but it was well after 6 pm when Guterres came down to his waiting car and driver. Inner City Press asked, Que pasa con la CICIG? But Guterres merely waved. Moments later his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who declined to answer or even confirm receipt of written questions from Inner City Press, issued this canned read-out: “The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala.  They discussed the regional situation in relation to the Northern Triangle of Central America and its impact on migration and refugee flows. They also exchanged views on security and justice.  In this context, the Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations’ commitment to the fight against impunity and corruption, and the Organisation’s continuing support to the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The Secretary-General also reiterated his confidence in Commissioner Ivan Velásquez.” Now, it seemed, the Jimmy Morales stakeout would be more interesting. But it was not to be. Reporters who had been in touch with Morales' team said that now their calls were ignored or even hung up on. Morales never came. Pro-tip from the Free UN Coalition for Access: this is not the way. More to come.


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