Thousands of demonstrators in Guatemala have turned out to protest against the country’s president as he engages in a face-off with the courts.
The power struggle concerns Ivan Velasquez, the UN’s anti-graft chief who is investigating President Jimmy Morales and his party for corruption.
In a video on social media, the president ordered the expulsion of the respected Colombian prosecutor declaring him persona non grata in his role as commissioner of the international investigative commission. The country’s Constitutional has blocked the expulsion order but Morales claims it cannot interfere in what he said was a foreign affairs matter.
#UN chief— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) August 27, 2017
antonioguterres</a> shocked to learn <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Guatemala?src=hash">#Guatemala</a>'s President has declared <a href="https://twitter.com/Ivan_Velasquez_">Ivan_Velasquez_ persona non grata. https://t.co/nkdQcyBjvD pic.twitter.com/Zd7GbCbZ7h
Morales, who is a former comedian who was elected president two years ago after the previous government was toppled by corruption charges, is now fighting for his political survival
The reaction from anti-government protesters has been to call for Morales to leave and for Velasquez to stay.
“Unfortunately, justice has been corrupted by the mafia political system,” said one protester. “That is why we are not calling for Velasquez to go, first Jimmy Morales must go for being corrupt and a thief.”
The probe into Morales is in connection with illegal campaign funds and the 2015 election.