- AMERICAN THINKER - Oct 31, 2020 -
In 2014 and 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Guatemala three times to pressure the government to maintain a United Nations body known as the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). CICIG was established in Guatemala in 2006 under the pretext of prosecuting "crimes committed by members of illegal security forces and clandestine security structures," during Guatemala's long civil war. Instead, CICIG -- an international body unaccountable to Guatemalan law, worked with Guatemala's Justice Ministry to arrest and jail the left's opponents. Many remain illegally detained to this day without trial. Two prominent doctors and a Guatemalan congressman died in jail. All suffered ill health, did not receive proper treatment and were detained much longer than legally allowed. None got a trial. All were absolved following their deaths.
Biden met with then-Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, who did not want to renew CICIG's charter. The Obama administration had promised a $1 billion aid package to Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), but Biden made the aid and upcoming trade agreements contingent upon renewing CICIG's contract. First cajoling then threatening, Biden finally announced, "The CICIG is staying, period." Biden used this same tactic in Ukraine, where he bragged about threatening to withhold loan guarantees until the Ukrainian government fired the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden. Biden also sought Pérez's help in extending CICIG's rule to El Salvador and Honduras.
Pérez reluctantly agreed to renew CICIG's charter. He was then pressured to resign under accusations of corruption and stripped by the Guatemalan Congress of legal immunity. The day after he resigned he was arrested and thrown in jail. He has remained there ever since, without trial. In a Daily Caller interview from jail, Pérez called these efforts, "a coup without bullets."
Pérez said that, "CICIG amounts to a new form of U.S. interference in Guatemala's affairs and that his country has surrendered its sovereignty over its justice system by allowing the unit to operate."
CICIG's litany of abuses includes arbitrary arrest, detention and interrogation without charges or trial, fabricated evidence, illegal break-ins and denial of due process, pretrial detention for years longer than allowed by Guatemalan law and many other abuses. Some of the charges it has brought are valid, given endemic corruption in Guatemala. But CICIG's goal was not to stem corruption, rather to use it as a pretext to dispatch the left's enemies and install vastly more corrupt individuals who will advance the Communist cause in Guatemala.