“This is a technical coup d’état.”

Emergency call to defend the Movimiento Semilla and democracy in Guatemala.
Emergency in Guatemala.
Emergency in Guatemala.

On 12 July 2023, Special Prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, launched a targeted campaign of legal warfare that threatens to put an end to democratic rule in Guatemala.

Following its successful first-round campaign, Curruchiche ordered the immediate dissolution of the progressive Movimiento Semilla political party and the retroactive disqualification of all party members elected to office.

The order came just minutes before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) certified the 25 June election results confirming Semilla candidate Bernardo Arévalo for the presidential runoff.

The supposed “crimes” dredged up from 2019 to justify the banning of the entire Semilla political party are some alleged discrepancies in the over 25,000 voter signatures required for party registration nearly four years ago.

Arévalo has been clear: “This is a technical coup d’état.” A raid on Semilla’s party headquarters is expected imminently.

These tactics of legal warfare have already been deployed in the course of this election. First, to disqualify the presidential ticket of the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP), among other candidates. Second, to demand a chaotic recount of the vote following the unprecedented defeat of the country’s traditional right-wing parties.

Now, the Attorney General’s office threatens to invalidate the sovereign decision of the Guatemalan people, risking the future of Guatemalan democracy and the rule of law, more broadly.

We call on all allies of democracy to join the call to reinstate Movimiento Semilla, to seat all duly elected representatives, and to proceed with the presidential election as determined by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala.

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