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Guatemala: cease undermining the peaceful transition of power and political persecution of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal

Written declaration No. 785 | Doc. 15851 | 17 October 2023

Mr Mattias JONSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Iulian BULAI, Romania, ALDE ; Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Mr Adnan DIBRANI, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Ms Heike ENGELHARDT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Emmanuel FERNANDES, France, UEL ; Ms María FERNÁNDEZ, Spain, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ LIMONES, Spain, SOC ; Mr Sergio GUTIÉRREZ PRIETO, Spain, SOC ; Mr Max LUCKS, Germany, SOC ; Ms Luz MARTINEZ SEIJO, Spain, SOC ; Mr Berdan ÖZTÜRK, Türkiye, UEL ; Mr George PAPANDREOU, Greece, SOC ; Mr Constantin STARÎŞ, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Ms Susana SUMELZO, Spain, SOC ; Ms Derya TÜRK-NACHBAUR, Germany, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

We support recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, regarding the Guatemalan authorities’ actions to undermine the outcome of the electoral process in Guatemala and urge that this issue be reflected in the Parliamentary Assembly’s upcoming report on “Strengthening relations between the Council of Europe and Latin America”.

We find it unacceptable that the Guatemalan Public Ministry has launched attacks against the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, including attempts to strip judges and electoral officials of their immunity, as well as raiding their offices and election storage facilities.

Such actions violate international human rights law, the Guatemalan Constitution and national legislation. We strongly condemn the political attacks targeting software developer Rafael Cordon and magistrate Irma Elizabeth Palencia, who employed Bitcoin Blockchain technology to ensure the secure preservation of election documents, preventing any unauthorised alterations, and any potential misuse of Artificial Intelligence and disinformation. These attacks must cease immediately.

Following statements by the European Union and the United States in support of the preliminary report of the Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission, we acknowledge the benefits of employing a public verification module to authenticate official tally sheet images with Bitcoin blockchain technology that increases the certainty of the results published.