Guatemala threatens US and UN credibility

edited January 2019 in Other Political Debate
I published some commentary on what is going on in Central America recently in the Hill with Losing the fight against corruption and narco-trafficking in Guatemala. Protests are helping but without a clear statement from the US it is difficult to see the Morales government softening its stance against CICIG. Unfortunately, nothing that the Morales government has said or done leads one to believe that their only concern is with Velasquez or CICIG. They've sought to dismantle the PNC leadership and Constitutional Court.

Unfortunately, my submission was revised in a way that I did not support. I tried to hold off sharing the op-ed until some revisions were made to it. I didn't learn of these revisions until after the article went live. Because the more problematic revisions were done by a university consultant and not Hill editors, the Hill hasn't been enthusiastic about making the revision. They did change the error on their part. I've asked for additional changes to be made or for the article to be taken down. (Update: On Sunday afternoon, the most problematic paragraph was deleted.)

Here is what is posted, which is not what happened and not what I wrote.
In August, in a move to intimidate the American ambassador who supports CICIG, Morales stated that U.S.-donated jeeps should not be used to drive the streets of the capitol, but rather “for the purpose of combatting criminal activity and narcotics trafficking, with a focus on Guatemala’s borders.”
And here is what I originally submitted.
Finally, Guatemala also sought to intimidate the United States in August when several U.S.-donated jeeps were seen near the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City when President Morales announced that CICIG’s mandate would not be renewed. According to the Embassy, these jeeps were to be used “for the purpose of combatting criminal activity and narcotics trafficking, with a focus on Guatemala’s borders.” They should not have been driving the streets of the capital. The move was widely perceived as a move to “intimidate the American ambassador, who publicly supports Cicig.”
The paragraph needed some revision but the revisions made changed the meaning of Morales' actions. There was also some heavy editing of the following paragraph. This is what is published.
But the most important people to consider regarding the future of CICIG is the Guatemalan people. Guatemala is one of the hemisphere’s poorer countries, with alarming numbers of indigenous and rural people living in extreme poverty.
Guatemalans have consistently supported CICIG. Until relatively recently, so has the United States.
Our government and the international community failed to defend democracy when it came under attack in Honduras and Nicaragua. The people of those two countries continue to suffer the consequences. It is not too late, however, to prevent the reversal of what progress has been made with the assistance of CICIG in Guatemala.
And here is what I wrote.
But the most important people to consider regarding the future of CICIG is the Guatemalan people. Guatemala is one of the hemisphere’s poorer countries, with alarming numbers of Indigenous and rural people living in extreme poverty. While the country’s murder rate decreased in 2018, insecurity continues to threaten the day to day existence of too many. Poor economic and security conditions have caused tens of thousands of Guatemalans, many of whom are families and unaccompanied minors, to flee for the United States. One of the bright spots, however, has been CICIG. After several years of attacks by Morales and important members of the political and economic elite to discredit CICIG, Guatemalans continue to demonstrate strong support for the institution. Every time that President Morales has attacked CICIG, the Guatemalan people and Constitutional Court have come to its defense. Until relatively recently, so has the United States.
The United States and international community failed to successfully defend democracy when it came under attack in Honduras and Nicaragua. The people of those two countries continue to suffer the consequences. It is not too late, however, to prevent the reversal of what progress has been made with the assistance of CICIG in Guatemala.
Anyway, it still online here.
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