A flood of new opportunities

This 2022 will be marked by processes that will determine the future of the rule of law in Guatemala. When we talk about the rule of law, we mean the state of justice in the country, that the laws apply to everyone equally, that there is no one above the law and that the rules that allow institutions to function are complied with. for the benefit of the population. Therefore, this year the elections for Attorney General and Head of the Public Ministry, Human Rights Attorney, Attorney General of the Nation and finally, Comptroller General of Accounts, represent a new opportunity to guide the country in a hopeful direction .

Taking into account recent antecedents such as the failed election of Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice and Court of Appeals since 2019, the unfinished integration of the Constitutional Court and the other dangers that lie in wait for being a pre-election year, in this 2022 a lot is at stake for the future of our country. Despite what has happened in recent years, it is imperative not to lose sight of the upcoming elections, since they will be an opportunity or a setback to strengthen various institutions and at the same time fight corruption head on.

Given the importance of these elections, why is it that citizens hardly find out or are interested in them? Of the four that will take place this year, three are through nomination commissions. These commissions are temporary bodies that are made up of academic, union or other professionals to evaluate applicants and prepare lists of candidates so that an authority defined by law can choose the best candidate for a certain public position. As a consequence, citizens do not participate directly in these processes, creating a remoteness and apathy to how these officials are chosen. However, there is no such indifference to the result of the election as we see that citizens are increasingly demanding and monitoring the actions of judges, Magistrates, Attorney General, Human Rights Ombudsman and other public officials who are elected through commissions application. If we citizens care how these officials perform in their work, we should also care how they get to those positions. There is the avalanche of opportunities that we have this year to know and supervise the various processes of application commissions that will be carried out.

So what can we do? Pay attention to the processes and do not allow them to go unnoticed because when that happens, it is easier for them to be manipulated and influenced by fraudulent interests. First, although it seems like a given aspect, it is necessary to insist that the processes be carried out within the time limits established by law. Second, as established by the Law of Nomination Commissions, all its acts must be transparent and impartial. As citizens we must demand compliance and carry out an orderly social audit. Finally, in citizen oversight we must also be impartial and objective so as not to favor or harm candidates simply for personally or ideologically sympathizing with someone. A committed citizenship requires politically mature individuals who strive to consolidate a true democratic Republic, without eagerness to advance hidden interests.

An avalanche of new opportunities is coming for the rule of law in Guatemala, can we take advantage of it for the benefit and development of the country?


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