Guatemala City (EFE). – The President of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo de León, sent a letter to the Attorney General, Consuelo Porras Argueta, asking to summon her after the head of the Public Ministry (Prosecution) tried to prevent his inauguration in recent months.
The president, who took office early on Monday morning, said in statements to journalists this Tuesday that “we are sending a letter to the Attorney General’s Office” to summon her.
“We will start the process there,” added the 65-year-old ruler.
Porras Argueta and the public prosecutor's office tried to prevent the inauguration of Arévalo de León and his party, the Semilla Movement, for more than six months, especially since July, just three weeks after the current president entered the runoff election.
The president recalled that “we have a president” and also said that “the people of Guatemala want to leave this group of criminals behind them.”
Arévalo de León had warned since September 1 last year that Porras Argueta, along with other corrupt actors, was carrying out a “coup” against him.
The president's words came following a Mayan ceremony honoring his term as president, which ends in January 2028.
Guatemala's Attorney General and Head of the Public Ministry, Consuelo Porras Argueta, in an archive photo. EFE/Edwin Bercian
Without the possibility of firing the prosecutor
Under Guatemalan law, the only reason to fire the attorney general is conviction of a crime.
For this reason, Arévalo de León has no opportunity to order his resignation, but he warned last week that he would ask him to resign.
The public prosecutor, for her part, has rarely appeared in public in recent years and has not commented on the inauguration of the new ruler.
However, since the presidency of the Congress is in the hands of the Semilla movement and a majority in Parliament, experts say it is possible that they will look for an alternative to removing the Attorney General.
Porras Argueta and the leadership of the Ministry of State have received sanctions from the United States in recent years and have also been accused by various sectors of preventing criminal investigations against former presidents Alejandro Giammattei (2020-2024) and Jimmy Morales (2016-2020).
An eventful investiture
The Guatemalan Congress experienced moments of tension on Sunday with the inauguration of the Arévalo de León, which was delayed by a group of parliamentarians from the outgoing Congress who tried to obstruct the processes.
It was exactly at noon when several deputies from the Semilla movement, overwhelmed by the situation, had to force open a door where parliamentarians from the Giammattei government were trying to delay the legal procedures of the new magistrate.
“To stop!” one of the new MPs, Jonathan Menkos, exclaimed loudly as he entered the room containing the government's like-minded MPs, after forcing the door open while the other lawmakers tried to do the same at the other end.
“I am a man of peace and calm,” Menkos later declared, “but injustices, abuses and corruption of public power will always find me ready to raise my voice,” he stressed.
The deputy, widely recognized within the party for his technical knowledge, will ask Congress for leave and will be finance minister of Arévalo de León.
Guatemala's newly inaugurated President Bernardo Arévalo de León attends a Mayan ceremony led by spiritual leaders from the country's four regions. EFE/Welcome Velasco
In the Mayan ceremony
The new president witnessed the Mayan ceremony this Tuesday, a few kilometers from the center of Guatemala City, in an archaeological park.
The ceremony will be “led by Mayan authorities,” as confirmed by the government, to “bless the new authorities through the knowledge of the ancestors,” at an event also attended by Vice President Karin Herrera.
During his speech, the ruler stated that “Karin and I, as well as our cabinet, have come with great humility to participate in this ceremony with you.”