US imposes visa restrictions on 300 Guatemalans, including 100 members of Congress

Washington, Dec. 11 (EFE) – The United States announced Monday that it has banned 300 Guatemalans, including 100 members of Congress, from entering the country for “undermining democracy and the rule of law.”

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement that the United States condemns the “anti-democratic actions” of the Guatemalan General Attorney’s Office against the country’s elected president, Bernardo Arévalo.

Miller cited arrest warrants for election workers, a request to lift Arévalo’s judicial immunity, and attempts to annul the election results as examples.

According to the Joe Biden administration, all of these actions demonstrate a “clear intent to delegitimize” the elections and “prevent” Arévalo’s inauguration in January, in violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

The visa restrictions on 300 Guatemalans are intended to “promote accountability for corrupt and undemocratic actors in Guatemala and support the will of the Guatemalan people,” the statement said.

The State Department did not disclose the identities of the 300 sanctioned, saying only that “over 100 members of the Guatemalan Congress, as well as private sector representatives and their family members,” were included.

Guatemala’s Congress consists of 160 lawmakers.

“The Guatemalan people have spoken. Their voices must be respected,” the spokesman said.

The leadership of the Attorney General’s Office has already been sanctioned by the US for trying to prevent the progressive politician Arévalo, who won the elections, to replace Alejandro Giammattei as the new president of Guatemala in January. EFE


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