To: The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence Oslo in the Norwegian Parliament
August 31, 2023
The Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin America (LAG) hereby reports our concern for the undemocratic tendencies of the Guatemalan national elections in 2023.
Similar to the statement from the Norwegian government on the 3rd of July 2023, LAG is concerned about the democratic processes and developments in Guatemala in relation to their national elections of 2023. With the election of the social democrat Bernardo Arévalo from the Party Semilla, LAG believes there is a historical momentum for Norway to increase its support for democracy in the country again.
Together with our partner organization in Guatemala, Conavigua, we demand that the Guatemalan courts of justice respect the constitutional order, the established laws, and the procedures of the electoral law and political parties. In recent events, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala have annulled a criminal ruling that ordered the suspension of the political party Semilla. LAG condemns and rejects the political and legal persecution against the Semilla political party, its leaders and as the winner of the presidential election. The actions of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala have caused political insecurity and intends to stop a free and democratic process of citizen participation. Today, the Guatemalan political and legal system is characterized by corruption.
Furthermore, as noted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), LAG is deeply concerned about the “Colosio Plan”, which includes plans to assassinate the president elect Arévalo. The gravity of the situation, as well as the fact that Arévalo had to rely on private protection due to a lack of trust in governmental entities, is disturbing and unacceptable.
As partners of Conavigua, LAG calls on the international community, institutions, progressive democratic governments, and governments fighting for peace, democracy and transparency to be vigilant and not allow actions that threaten the rule of law and do not promote weak democracy.
Considering Norway's role as facilitators during the peace negotiations between the guerilla movements and the Guatemalan government during the ‘90s and as a committed long term development partner of Guatemala, we encourage the Norwegian Parliament to use their diplomatic tools and its international influence to help end the ongoing assault on the Guatemalan people’s democratic rights. To ensure a peaceful transition of power, we ask the Norwegian Parliament to support international presence in the country and openly support civil society organizations, journalists and judges, and we ask you to closely monitor the post-election developments.
With Solidarity, Larissa Avelar, Chairman of the Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin America (LAG)
For questions or comments please contact: Info@lagnorge.no, +47 41852691