|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Central America

Guatemala’s Congress Reverses Course on Controversial Changes to Penal Code

GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s Congress decided on Thursday to scrap two controversial changes to the penal code that it had approved the day before, one of which shielded party leaders and candidates from prosecution for violations of campaign-finance laws.

Leaders of the different blocs in Congress agreed at an emergency meeting on Thursday to kill the changes, opposition lawmaker Oliverio Garcia said at a press conference, where he was joined by the president of the unicameral legislature, Oscar Chinchilla.

Chinchilla said for his part that the changes would be overturned in a legislative session on Friday.

Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman Jordan Rodas, who had filed a challenge at the Constitutional Court, and Guatemala’s business community blasted the surprise congressional move, while President Jimmy Morales said Thursday he would consider vetoing the legislation.

Under the changes Congress made Wednesday to Article 407 of the Criminal Code, parties’ secretary-generals and candidates would not have been allowed to be held criminally responsible for campaign-financing violations.

Instead, the legislation – which passed by a vote of 107-16 – said it was up to party accountants to ensure there were no irregularities.

The lawmakers also modified another section of the criminal code to make prison sentences of up to 10 years for certain crimes – compared to five previously – susceptible to being commuted, with the felons able to go free after paying a fine.

But the lawmakers reversed course amid the intense criticism.

The Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF), a powerful business federation, had slammed the penal-code changes and called on Morales (a former secretary-general of the right-wing National Convergence Front party who became its presidential candidate in 2015) to veto them.

On Monday, Congress shielded Morales from prosecution for alleged illegal financing during his successful 2015 election campaign, a vote that came after a legislative committee had recommended that his immunity be stripped.

Guatemalan prosecutors and the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) had leveled the accusations against Morales, who rose to power on an anti-corruption platform.

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2015 © All rights reserved