Guatemala is in the process of selecting its next attorney general to serve a four-year term: May 2018-May 2022. Because the process and result could have tremendous implications for grave crimes trials and the rule of law in Guatemala, the International Justice Monitor is providing regular situation reports.
The Nominating Commission (Comisión de Postulación) to recommend finalists for the post of Guatemalan attorney general has rejected 14 of the 39 applications it received, leaving 25 applications remaining. The Commission met last Monday through Wednesday to make its determinations. It rejected the applicants for failing to meet requirements established by law and the call for applications. The Commission threw out applications for such reasons as failure to submit required documentation, failing to have required documents properly notarized, and submitting documents that were older than required. A full list of the 14 rejected applications and the Commission’s findings is below, as is a list of the 25 remaining candidates.
From February 27 until March 1, the rejected candidates had an opportunity to present the Commission with rebuttal evidence, which it will examine from March 5-7. Although they are not allowed to submit new documents, 13 of the 14 rejected candidates submitted rebuttal evidence.
Three Legal Challenges Rejected
On February 20, the Nominating Commission announced that, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court rejected three of four constitutional complaints (amparos) challenging the Commission’s work. Various individuals challenged the Commission’s gradation table, its candidate profile, and its decision to narrowly define the types of accusations (tachas) against candidates that it could consider. The court rejected all of these, which have now been appealed and are awaiting final resolution. The court did not provide reasons for its ruling.
The amparo before the court that calls for the Commission’s dissolution due to pending legal complaints against two of its members is still pending.
- Heidi Tamara: for not providing notarized proof of university studies.
- Francisco Javier Puac Choz: for acting as a notary while disallowed from doing so; and for not providing certification that he fully enjoys his political rights.
- Sergio Danilo Castro Basteguieta: for failing to provide several documents: notarized proof of university studies; the diploma certifying his professional degree; a certificate proving that he has not been sanctioned by the disciplinary regimes of the places where he has worked; and certification from judicial institutions where he has worked stating that he has not been discharged due to a legal or disciplinary process.
- Mynor Alberto Melgar: for failing to provide certification from the Supreme Court of Justice to show that he has not been banned from the Notary Electronic Register.
- Walter Paulino Jimenez: for failing to provide certification that he does not hold an executive position in any political party.
- Mynor Francisco Hernandez Castillo: for not meeting the constitutional requirement of having been a lawyer for more than ten years.
- Delia Marina Davila Salazar: for submitting an outdated notarial affidavit stating that the candidate does not have filial or marriage relationship with a member of the Nominating Commission; and for a missing notary signature on an affidavit that she is not banned under Article 77 (a) of the Organic Law of the Attorney General’s Office.
- Fausto Corado Moran: for submitting outdated certification that he has not been sanctioned by the Human Resource Department at the Attorney General’s Office; and for an outdated certification of having withdrawn from the position of Prosecutor Agent of the Prosecutor Coordination of the Metropolitan District.
- Emma Patricia Guillermo de Leon de Chea: for failing to submit certification proving that she had not been sanctioned under the disciplinary regimes of two previous employers; and for failing to provide certification from judicial institutions where she has worked stating that she has not been discharged due to a legal or disciplinary process.
- Maria Eugenia Castellanos Cruz de Delgado: for not providing certification that she has full enjoyment of her political rights.
- Claudia Lucrecia Paredes Castañedas: for providing an outdated notarized affidavit stating that she does not have filial or marriage relationship with a member of the nominating commission.
- Oscar Rolando Contreras Hernandez: for failing to provide certification from the Supreme Court of Justice showing that he has not been completely or partially banned by the Notary Electronic Register; for discrepancies in signatures on his original and photocopied sworn affidavits; and for poorly numbering his sworn affidavits.
- Veronica del Rosario Galicia Marroquin: for discrepancies in the page numbering of her original and photocopied applications; for mistakes in the format of her sworn affidavits; for failing to provide certification that while working in the Attorney General’s Office, she has not been sanctioned under its disciplinary regime; and for not providing certification from the Attorney General’s Office stating that she has not been discharged due to a legal or disciplinary process.
- Carlos Arsenio Perez Cheguen: for mistakes in the pagination of his application and the possibility of missing pages; for discrepancies between the signatures on the copies of his application and the original; and for discrepancies in the times sworn statements were drafted.
Candidates Allowed to Proceed
The Commission found that the applications of the following 25 candidates met formal requirements:
- Yacquelin Azmitia Poroj, Head of the office of permanent attention of the Attorney General’s Office
- Mayra Véliz, General Secretary of the Attorney General’s Office
- Ilse Álvarez de Espada, private lawyer, specializing in forensics and criminology.
- Édgar Melchor, Head of the Criminal Investigations Office of the Attorney General’s Office
- Erick Álvarez, former President of the Supreme Court of Justice
- Gladys Verónica Ponce, former Prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Office
- Edgar Lemus Orellana, former Board Member of the Attorney General’s Office
- Claudia Escobar, former magistrate of the Appellate Court
- Óscar Shaad, former Head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity and Current Head of the Prosecutor’s Office for Electoral Offenses
- Oscar Morales Montúfar, litigant lawyer
- Shayne Ochaeta, ex-lawyer for CICIG
- Ranulfo Rafael Rojas, former President of the Supreme Court of Justice
- Roberto Molina, former President of the Constitutional Court and former General Comptroller.
- Wilber Gerardo Enríquez, litigant lawyer, previously served 12 years at the Attorney General’s Office
- María Consuelo Porras Argueta, Alternate Magistrate of the Constitutional Court
- Eliseo Quiñonez Villagrán, Prosecutor for Special Cases
- Miguel Ángel Gálvez, Judge of the High Risk Court B
- Marcos Antonio Turcios Ruiz, Prosecutor of the Public Minister in Amatitlán
- Manfredo Velásquez Gallo, litigating lawyer
- Brenda Muñoz Sánchez, Deputy General Director of Antinarcotics Analysis and Information of the National Police
- Franc Martínez Ruiz, Magistrate of the Second Chamber for feminicides
- Rolando López Morán, laywer
- Roaldo Isaías Chávez Pérez, Chamber Magistrate
- Acisclo Valladares Molina, Guatemalan Ambassador to the United Kingdom
- Patricia Gámez Barrera, Judge of the Criminal Court of First Instance of Antigua Guatemala