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Thu May 16, 2019, 12:31 AM

Guatemala court rules popular anti-corruption crusader ineligible to run for president

Source: Washington Post

Guatemala court rules popular anti-corruption crusader ineligible to run for president

By Sandra Cuffe and Mary Beth Sheridan May 15 at 10:44 PM

GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan court on Wednesday ruled that anti-corruption crusader Thelma Aldana is ineligible to run in next month’s presidential election, Guatemalan media reported, in what analysts called a blow to the decade-long effort to clean up the country’s graft-ridden politics.

Four years ago, Aldana, then the attorney general, led an investigation of official graft that ousted the president. But now, Aldana is the one facing corruption charges.

Aldana’s supporters — including U.S. and Guatemala civil society groups — say the charges against her are trumped up. The 63-year-old lawyer, they say, was part of a remarkable, U.S.-backed effort in recent years to tackle corruption in this poor nation. But her attempted run for president in the June 16 general elections prompted a fierce backlash by politicians and others who benefited from the old system.

“Thelma Aldana represented the possibility of continuing to affect political actors and structures that had previously been untouchable,” said Stephanie Lopez, a political analyst at the Central American Institute of Political Studies.

The Constitutional Court ruling barring Aldana’s candidacy is a victory for an alliance of corrupt politicians, parties and institutions, said Lopez. A document filed by Aldana to register as a candidate for the Semilla party was no longer valid in light of the more recent criminal allegations, the court ruled.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/guatemala-awaits-ruling-can-popular-anti-corruption-crusader-run-for-president/2019/05/14/8ec59356-7516-11e9-a7bf-c8a43b84ee31_story.html

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