OAS Votes to Condemn the Worsening Crisis in Guatemala, El Salvador Abstains

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The Government of El Salvador abstained from supporting the resolution that the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued yesterday to organize a meeting with the ministers of the continent from outside the continent whose objective will be to address the democratic crisis in Guatemala. El Salvador was the only country to abstain in the vote, while Guatemala voted against.

The OAS Permanent Council, meeting in Washington, yesterday adopted a resolution declaring itself “alarmed by the insistent destabilizing actions” of the Attorney General’s Office of the Central American country, and has therefore activated the procedure to be able to send a commission to that country.

The agency undertook to initiate “wide consultations to determine the need to convene a consultation meeting of foreign ministers” to address this issue.

In addition, “good offices” to the country as soon as possible.

They quenize any intimidating action, respect the integrity of electoral material and uphold democratic principles.
OAS Permanent Council, in its resolution to address the democratic crisis in Guatemala.

This explicitly invokes Article 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. It determines that “when a Member State there are situations that could affect the conduct of the democratic institutional political process or the legitimate exercise of power, the Secretary-General or the Permanent Council may, with the prior consent of the affected government, arrange visits and other steps for the purpose of making an analysis of the situation.”

Almagro stressed that Guatemala is subjected “to one of the most difficult tests” in its history, and warned that if the Public Prosecutor’s Office achieves its objective “a coup d’état would be perfected, today in an attempt.”

“Until the general elections of 2023, other judicialization actions are not known in Guatemala’s democratic history in order to alter the electoral results,” he said in his speech after the vote.

In the resolution adopted, member states also strongly condemned “the continued abuse of power by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and other public authorities in Guatemala.”

They also expressed their “serious concern about the continued political persecution and judicialization of electoral processes and democratic transition.”

They also called on all Guatemalan institutions to “cede any intimidating action, respect the integrity of electoral material and uphold democratic principles.”

In a video speech to the Permanent Council, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Mario Búcaro said his government has respected the election results “since day one” and that “it has taken no action” to block the transition of powers. In addition, he made a “call for prudence” for the other countries of the region since “there is no” breach of the international order in Guatemala, he claimed.

The representative of the United States to the OAS, Francisco Mora, spoke of a “disturbing squere of anti-democratic measures” by the Guatemalan authorities, including the ” absurd effort to annul the election results.”

Since the progressive candidate Bernardo Arévalo de León, of the Seed Movement, won the presidential elections in August, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, led by Consuelo Porras, has undertaken investigations against the president-elect, members of his party and electoral officials.

Civil society organizations, the UN, the OAS, the United States and the European Union, among others, have denounced that the Guatemalan Prosecutor’s Office has built a spurious case to annul the elections and prevent Arévalo de León from happening next January 14 to the outgoing president, Alejandro Giammattei.

The abstentions of El Salvador to international organizations

This is not the first time that El Salvador has refrained from casting its vote in international conflicts.

  • Against Russia

In March 2022, the UN resolved the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine. El Salvador and Nicaragua abstained from voting.

  • Assault on OAS

In May 2022, El Salvador and Honduras abstained at the time of the vote on an OAS resolution that condemned the occupation of their offices in Nicaragua.

  • Closure of NGOs in Nicaragua

In August 2022, El Salvador abstained from voting when the OAS condemned the closure of an NGO and restrictions on religious institutions by Daniel Ortega’s government.

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