Consuelo Porras, Attorney General of the Republic and Head of the Ministry of State (MP), filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court (CC) on the night of August 24 against President Alejandro Giammattei, Minister of the Interior Napoleon Barrientos and Director of the National Civil Police Edwin Adriano López.
The purpose of this amparo is to keep Porras safe and assert autonomy independently of the deputy.
The prosecutor’s measure requires Giammattei and two other officials to “take preventive measures to protect the MP’s independence, which has been” violated by the use of various social networks used by people identifying themselves with users of the Twitter network, now called X. and other social networks.
In the amparo she filed with the CC, the Attorney General points to the names of Bernardo Silva, Vicente Carrera, Virginia Estrada, Sergio Yoel Morataya, Gerardo Guerra, Juan Francisco and Samuel Bernardo.
They are cited as “an attempt to limit the exercise of criminal prosecution and thereby violate the autonomy and independence of a deputy through actions involving public disorder, violation of constitutional rights, obstruction of justice and criminal prosecution, with the intention of removing legally appointed public servants, motivating resignation of members of parliament without a legal basis for its justification”.
Porras took under his protection publications from the accounts he points to, in which some read “resign now”, “sit-in in front of an MP” and other demands of civil protest.
The document states that “Public entities and individuals identified on social media organized and publicly called to promote what they call the High Command Trap (the designation they use on the social media platform) until Friday, August 25, 2023.” . surrounding the central parliament building in the Girona district, zone 1 of the capital.”
He adds that the idea is to block “entrances and exits to prevent access to and exit from it until they have completed their mission, such as forcing the resignation or resignation of the people they designate as high command.” : Attorney General of the Republic Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta, Attorney General of the Office of the Special Prosecutor against Impunity José Rafael Curruches Cucul and Attorney Cynthia Edelmira Monterroso Gómez.
The document also included copies of tweets posted by some of these individuals and others, including journalists, who said they had signed a petition demanding the resignation of Porras, Curruches and Monterroso.
These people include the journalist Paola Hurtado, contacted by Free press And Guatevision find out his position on the actions of prosecutor Porras.
Hurtado said he was surprised and concerned that they are using as evidence tweets from citizens who use their right to express their opinion to demand amparo against the president of the republic himself, the interior minister and the director of the PNC.
“I think this is a sign of desperation on the part of the prosecutor to create terror, to create intimidation at a time when, from what I see, the defense rather seems to be left alone,” she commented.
He noted that using citizens’ opinions as evidence is a clear sign of a lack of allies.
“It worries me because it breeds terror, sows uncertainty, sows intimidation, and I hope that this civilian force will grow, and at a time when it is absolutely impossible for them to present hundreds and thousands of resignation requests as proof that that they are allegedly violating the autonomy of the deputy,” Hurtado said.
He added that the prosecutor’s actions are “an attempt to make us believe that we can neither have an opinion, nor demand, nor defend our rights. I would not say that this is an attack, but rather an attempt to make us believe that we are being attacked, or an attempt to make us believe that our rights are not there. I would like to think that, with the exception of the deputy, all institutions are doing their job.”
Hurtado added that she will continue to defend her right to express herself as a citizen, as someone who demands respect for the institutional framework and the rule of law in Guatemala. She said she agreed because she was not the only one asking for the Attorney General’s resignation.
“Consuelo Porras does not accept criticism”
Claudia Mendez Arriaza, another journalist whose tweets appear on Amparo, said that since his first term, Porras has confused criticism of his public role with attacks or threats.
“If we have an official of her level who interprets criticism of her public function as a threat, then she is incompatible with this position, I think so. If we have an Attorney General who, in front of a column, in front of a cartoon, in front of a tweet, feels that she is a threat to her autonomy, then she is not suitable for this position or for the institution she runs. “Mendez Arrias assured.
He argued that every civil servant should know that the laws of the country in a special way guarantee even extreme protection from criticism, bullying, accusations, and even imputation of their actions and functions, and that if she sees this as a threat, then this is bad. .. for her to keep this position.
“We enjoy the right guaranteed by the Constitution and which is not only guaranteed but also protected. When our statements are negative, critical, even an insult is protected by the Political Constitution of the Republic. Why protect him? Because, well, they were not going to legislate when we talk well about power, because it is not necessary to defend it, ”commented the journalist.
The communicator believes that the amparo filed by Porras reflects a huge weakness as it should require the PGN to act when there should be inter-institutional arrangements.
“She shows weakness, an attempt to make herself a victim, but the attorney general shows us that she does not tolerate criticism, and those who do not tolerate criticism do not tolerate democracy,” Mendez Arriaza said.
“Unfortunately, I do not expect more from these officials, I do not expect more from Consuelo Porras or Rafael Curruches. How do I feel? It doesn’t surprise me. This is not the first time this has been done to me either,” he said, referring to accusations made against him on other occasions.
The journalist said that she would defend her right to self-expression and would defend herself if she was called to the deputies.
“I don’t want these actions to limit my freedom or independence, so if you want, call me, I’m here. What threat do we, citizens and journalists, pose to democracy? She – Porras – is a threat to democracy,” concluded Mendes Arrias.
Alejandra Gutiérrez Valdisán, a journalist also mentioned by Consuelo Porras, called the action “an unacceptable act.” “This is an absolutely inadequate action, especially on the part of the Prosecutor General, who must know the law and the Constitution, must know the rights of citizens and know that citizens have the right to criticize or speak about the work of the prosecutor’s office. officials and civil servants. It means ignorance, and if it’s not ignorance, then he really doesn’t care about breaking the law,” he said.
Gutiérrez Valdísan also assured that there is a “desire and interest to intimidate the population.” “In this case, for example, the first people who appear in the complaint, who are called by name, are citizens, these are citizens who exercise their right to freedom of expression,” he commented.
“Some journalists are also included in these ‘tests’, and basically it is the desire to intimidate, silence and threaten the population so that they are afraid and do not dare to express what they think, what they feel and their opinion, which is the full right” , – he said.
The journalist noted that such actions “affect a lot” because they violate the right to freedom of expression, information, and freedom of the press. “You can see the degradation that has been going on for months, years with Giammattea’s government; And I do not say this, international reports say this, diagnoses, experts, organizations say this. Democratic degradation and political persecution, which the prosecutor’s office carries out in relation to the press, is now intensifying, since citizenship is added to this. So it’s like another tiger stripe,” he gave an example.
Regarding possible actions to be taken, Gutiérrez Valdísan said: “We are analyzing with freedom of expression organizations, with organizations of journalists, to see how we proceed. In principle, it seems to me that the most essential thing is denunciation; condemn and citizens agree and defend their right to self-expression”.
Point out political persecution
Editor Raul Figueroa Sarti, who is also named in the document sent to Consuelo Porras, said he was concerned about the existence of this kind of political persecution and the undermining of freedom of expression.
“If it weren’t for the fact that this is another act on the part of the lady – Consuelo Porras – of political persecution, I would tell her that this is ridiculous, that it is ridiculous, but it is worrying that this lady continues to use the MP for the political persecution of opponents corruption,” he said. “I hope that the Constitutional Court will reject what the lady proposes, because this is really an infringement on freedom of speech,” he said.
“It is very disturbing that (…) the Attorney General is using the powers that the position of Attorney General gives her to persecute opponents,” he said.
“I think they go to extremes (…) Public secrecy is the weapon of a corrupt pact, as we have been suggesting for some time, that it is cornered, that it no longer knows what to do, they stamp their feet to pursue the political opposition in Guatemala; It is absolutely unfortunate and ridiculous that a woman, being part of the power in Guatemala, requires that precautions be taken.”
“I’m not surprised anymore”
“This impresses me even more, it doesn’t surprise me anymore, because we know that this Public Ministry has begun a hunt, persecution of all the voices that spoke, that raised their voice against this regime and against the impunity that protects from the prosecutor’s office,” said Sergio Yoel Morataya, another one of those named by the prosecutor.
He added that his Twitter and TikTok profiles are public and that he has never incited violence and that “at no time have I published information about measures that go beyond the protest provided for by the Constitution. They are looking for excuses to criminalize, censor and diminish rights in our country.”
“They are cruel”
In addition, Brenda Hernandez, another person mentioned in the amparo, stated that she is not surprised as she sees that the agenda of the current parliamentary administration, in particular Fechi, is devoted to “the criminalization of the people of Guatemala.”
“We protest peacefully, they are aggressive,” Hernandez said.