MP requests Revoking immunity of TSE judge Blanca Alfaro

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Feci notes that Judge Blanca Alfaro allegedly committed two crimes during the proceedings of the MP at the TSE headquarters.

On Thursday, December 14, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) requested the withdrawal of the immunity of the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Blanca Alfaro.

The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor against Impunity (Feci), Rafael Curruchiche, reported that the request is against Alfaro for the alleged crime of obstructing criminal action and non-compliance with duties.

According to the prosecutor, the first crime mentioned is because on September 30, the entire people of Guatemala observed, there are the videos, how it was obstructed, how it was physically attacked, verbally, psychologically, there were women prosecutors there and there were magistrates there, and then all that is fully documented.

He added that in due course they will take the corresponding actions, but for now they have only submitted the request for the withdrawal of immunity.

With regard to the other four judges, who were already given immunity, the prosecutor indicated that he unofficially knows that they are not in Guatemala.

On September 30, the Feci carried out searches at the headquarters of the TSE, where they kidnapped boxes with electoral material.

The prosecutor was asked about the ruling of the Constitutional Court ordering the transition of elected officials to be guaranteed and replied that he did not read the ruling and that within the constitutional framework of the MP to investigate, they have already given a copy to the TSE so that it establishes what can proceed, this in the case against Semilla.

We in a timely manner, already established, what have we found in the criminal investigation and that is what we have transferred it, he said.

They also consulted him whether the request against Alfaro corresponds to a new case or whether it corresponds to the investigation of the Seed case, to which the prosecutor reported that it is a phase that has been presented as the other phases and recalled that there is a phase of the investigation against Bernardo Arévalo, president-elect, of course money laundering.

He said that the MP has worked with U.S. institutions, including the DEA and the FBI, which are very independent of the State Department, and that there is a very good relationship with them – and through the International Affairs Unit, he will communicate, according to how the process of the trial progresses, in order for the U.S. government. The U.S. collaborates with the MP’s investigation and has done so on other occasions.

When asked how he sees the sanctions imposed by the United States against him and that the European Parliament is now asking for restrictions against him and other members of the MP, the prosecutor replied: “Look, what the European Union, the UN, the OAS and foreign governments have asked me doesn’t matter, nor do I care, that’s a way to intimidate the Public Prosecutor’s Office, I’m careful, I don’t see why so much buzz just because you submit, you’re subject to what certain governments think.

He added that TSE workers and citizens have come to the Feci for this case against Seed. He recalled that when they started the investigation, the TSE digitators arrived to indicate that before the vote count was started they withdrew them and other people took care of the database.

He also mentioned the demonstration in front of the MP and according to him, people say where they don’t have to be.

They also consulted him if there is any investigation or complaint against Miguel Martínez, a former government office of the Government Center, and the prosecutor indicated that he does not know if there is.

He said: “When I assumed in the Feci, I was invited by a foreign government to go to your embassy to analyze processes of investigation of the Feci and since I did not agree, you will know the consequences that existed towards me.

In its account on the social network X, the TSE stated that again the Public Prosecutor’s Office tries to violate the highest electoral authority in the country with another legal persecution.

MP expands details

In a statement, the MP expanded details of the request for the withdrawal of the trial against Judge Blanca Alfaro. He reported that derived from the case of arrivals committed by the TSE in the 2023 electoral process, the Feci considers that, Alfaro as a judge of the TSE could have committed multiple illegalities such as:

Irregularities in the protection of the electoral boxes, nototing the legal regulations applicable to their custody.

The MP established that, in the electoral boxes, the copy of document 4, which is of the utmost importance, was not deposited since it contains the data of the votes obtained by the candidates.

He also established that as a guarantor of the purity of the electoral process, the judge was able to commit possible illegalities by failing to ensure uniformity in the formats used. This contradicts the very rules of agreements issued by it themselves in the company of the other judges holding the TSE, which, according to the MP, indicates that Alfaro did not intend to guarantee the security measures to be observed by such important documents, and therefore would have failed to comply with her obligations as a full judge.

In addition, according to the MP, the TSE, in accordance with the Law on Access to Public Information, is obliged to publish all agreements issued by the Plenary of Judges; however, Alfaro and the other judges failed in their duty to publish on the official website of the TSE all the agreements issued. These were a total of 88, which were not made public, affecting the transparency with which their electoral authorities should be conducted.

The finding concatenated with the others described, denotes the opacity and lack of transparency in the way in which the judges of the TSE carried out the 2023 electoral process with their intention to publish all the agreements issued in accordance with the law, being permissive and facilitators for the commission of crimes that violated the electoral process allowing a series of actions that would probably allow them to issue agreements later, in order to endorse the commission of illegal actions, said the MP.

He added that in such a way, the technical, objective and impartial investigation of the prosecutor’s office made it possible to warn of irregularities or illegalities attributable to the staff of the Supreme Electoral Court and non-electoral figures in the 2023 electoral process.

In addition, the lack of coincidence of the data contained in electoral document number 4 (final act of closing of ballots) with agreements number 9-2023 and 50-2023 of the TSE established that the formats used are not those that were approved by the agreement 50-2023 of that rostrum which could not be arbitrarily or discretionaryly modified by the TSE, since the formats to be used, had been previously authorized in the above-mentioned agreement, which reveals the purpose of altering the results contained in those documents before.

According to the MP, this circumstance occurred to the arbitrariness of anyone interested in altering the electoral results, print their own format at will, as there is no control of the authenticity of the formats used.

He stated that in continuity to the investigation carried out and because it was directly related to the events, information was requested on the companies awarded for the printing of electoral material, with multiple illegalities and irregularities, such as an entity whose commercial turn is not the printing of documents but the administration and marketing of a convention centre, however, in a completely illegal way administrative contract was signed to carry out the printing of documents of counting records.

Also, the final minutes of closing of ballots, document number 4, in its filling, do not comply, for the most part, with all the requirements of the information required by each record, so they are incomplete.

The MP assured that tymers hired by the TSE have given a testimonial statement to the investigating body, reporting that when the members of the Vote Receiving Boards withdrew in the first round of elections, on June 25, 2023 at approximately 11 p.m., they began to give them for their scanning many counting records, that is, “Act 4” which carried multiple tacks and testaments, as well as declaring that the coordinators of finger drivers instructed that the minutes be allowed to pass,As they were being handed over.

This situation was also indicated in a testimonial statement in which it is mentioned that it was instructed that even if it did not square the total with the votes, to let it go like this.

This means, to say, of the MP, that when the members of Vote Receiving Boards withdraw, mostly in the metropolitan area, the collaborators of the TSE altered and distorted the data of the minutes 4, testing them, sealing them and changing them to affection that it squared with the data that was probably illegally loaded to the Trep system.

He also mentioned that article 104 of the Regulations of the Electoral Law ratifies the obligation of signature, adding an extra requirement, which consists of a stamp.

However, according to the MP, again Alfaro, together with the other judges holding the TSE, they overly mistaken the members of the Vote Receiving Board, in failing to comply with their obligation to provide them with all the necessary inputs to carry out their task, in this specific case the stamp, required by law.

He stated that in these cases none of the minutes scanned in original has the corresponding stamp, so none of these minutes or copies meet the legal requirement of the sealing, in clear contravention of article 103 and 104 of the Regulations of the Electoral and Political Parties Act.

In addition, Blanca Alfaro on 29 and 30 September 2023, through the use of physical force, intimidating acts, verbal violence and threats, violating the dignity and integrity of the prosecutor personnel, violently opposed the practice of the search procedure ordered by the judge in the case to obstruct the provision of evidence in the process.

From that account, the Feci submitted the request for the withdrawal of immunity in order to initiate investigations and establish whether there is a commission of acts constituting an offence.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Prensa Libre