Constitutional Court modifies the irregular financial scene of Guatemala’s electoral campaigns

Lester Meda e Ignacio Andrade (Guatemala)

The Constitutional Court modified the scene for the criminal prosecutions cases of Guatemala’s electoral campaigns. By means of two files: 1) the ex Diputy Nineth Montenegro (file 304-2019), and 2) the ex-president Sandra Torres, with the others “Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza -UNE-” figures (recovery files 1860-2019 and 1750-2019), the court declares that the declarative statements contained on the type of funding not registered in the article 407 “O” that develops the “not registered electoral funding”, can’t be applied to any previous act prior to their effectiveness in 2016. The previous figure of illegal electoral funding was abolished.

The case is also relevant for corruption cases since the court confirms that the approach to the Unlawful Association figures (article 4 Law against Organized) must be given in the case of article 2 of said law. It indicates the subjects that could be given in this crime, and on the electoral are not contained in such article 2, so it must be demonstrated that there is the intention to commit a crime. This declaration has effect among the criminal prosecutions for other cases of corruption, due to the failure evidence standard and quality arise.

At last, it is estimated that the electoral crimes need to be reported by the Supreme Electoral Court itself, as a result of audits taken by the same court to be pursued by the Public Ministry.

To recap, the sentences given modify the overall picture to open cases and in investigations for electoral fraud in order to determine if the 2016 reforms may affect or not.