How a documentary filmmaker has brought justice to Guatemala.

Dave Marash
Nov 30, 2017 · 2 min read

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In late September, more than two hundred thousand people marched through the streets of Guatemala City demanding a full investigation and prosecution of alleged corruption tied to Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales.

Most of them had been there before, in 2015, demanding, and eventually getting, the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti for alleged corruption. Perez and Baldetti are presently being prosecuted by a team led by members of an international tribunal sent by the UN to help clean up corruption in Guatemala.

It was in the wake of those resignations that Jimmy Morales –a TV comedian — won the Presidency based on his widely-trumpeted claim that he was “neither corrupt nor a thief.”

But the same international team prosecuting ex-President Perez says they have evidence that some $825,000 in unexplained contributions wound up in Morales’ 2015 Presidential campaign treasury. Morales says he knows nothing about it.

Earlier this year, prosecutors criticized Morales for taking $62,000 in “bonus” payments from the Guatemalan military, with whom the President is close. Morales gave the money back, but most analysts say, his most important backer remains the Army.

His most important antagonists remain local prosecutors backed by the UN anti-corruption organization CICIG and the growing number of people who are now protesting against him.

As ever in Guatemala, the struggle continues. And if political honesty and human and civil rights often seem far away, a remarkable number of citizens, in the capitol city and in the rural areas have not given up the fight.

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