The Clooney Foundation for Justice is alarmed by recent efforts in Guatemala to prosecute members of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, including Judge Gloria Porras, for their judicial activities. CFJ echoes the concerns expressed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which urged Guatemala to put a stop to the proceedings against these judges.
Judge Porras, who was recently re-elected to Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, has faced significant harassment throughout her tenure on the court. In 2019, at a conference launching CFJ’s TrialWatch initiative, she highlighted the need to respect judicial independence. And yet, if anything, the harassment since then has escalated.
This most recent episode stems from the Constitutional Court’s decision forbidding the Guatemalan executive from expelling an Ambassador after his country announced financial support for a UN-sponsored commission investigating corruption in Guatemala. In response, a different organ of the judiciary (the selection process for which has, according to the American Bar Association, been “plagued by irregularities“) referred a case against Judge Porras to Congress, which decided this week to open an investigation against her.
CFJ calls on Guatemala to ensure that judges are permitted to decide cases free of any “pressures, threats or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.”