Another respected actor in the Guatemalan justice system is forced into exile by legal harassment and violent threats from extreme right wing pressure groups and their state allies. Impunity leaves grassroots human rights defenders increasingly vulnerable.

The threats against  Judge Miguel Angel Galvez  increased dramatically after he ordered the opening of the trial for the first nine military and retired policemen accused in the “Military Diary” case on May 6 of this year,  he was denounced by an extreme right-wing group using the same strategy that has led other justice operators into exile.  On November 15, Judge Galvez announced  his resignation as high-risk court judge that he left the country due to security threats and lack of access to a due process

We express our solidarity with Judge Gálvez and with the independent justice operators who have had to go into exile. We join the demands of our Guatemalan partners who demand an end to the criminalization of independent justice operators and we invite you read the following statement  from La Convergencia por los Derechos Humanos:

WE REGRET THE RESIGNATION OF JUDGE MIGUEL ÁNGEL GÁLVEZ

Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez’s resignation is a shame for the justice system in Guatemala. Far from protecting those who have upheld the rule of law, the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) has been a shield of corruption and impunity.

Judge Gálvez, as well as Judge Éricka Aifán, repeatedly reported on the situations of risk they faced. The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) not only ignored such calls, but also facilitated the criminalization, defamation, and harassment of those who have been subjected to it, and protected their aggressors.

The justice system loses a valuable, honest, capable official dedicated to strengthening the rule of law.

From the Convergence for Human Rights, we regret the resignation of Judge Gálvez and we send him our solidarity and gratitude for his impeccable work.

We call on Guatemalan society to raise its voice, promote the organization, alliances and mobilization necessary to recover the rights that today are violated by those from the #CriminalAlliance who have assaulted democracy.

Guatemala, November 15, 2022

Read the statement in Spanish below

One page with the logo of several guatemal human rights organizations above, below the following text WE REGRET THE RESIGNATION OF JUDGE MIGUEL ÁNGEL GÁLVEZ Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez's resignation is a shame for the justice system in Guatemala. Far from protecting those who have upheld the rule of law, the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) has been a shield of corruption and impunity. Judge Gálvez, as well as Judge Éricka Aifán, repeatedly reported on the situations of risk they faced. The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) not only ignored such calls, but also facilitated the criminalization, defamation, and harassment of those who have been subjected to it, and protected their aggressors. The justice system loses a valuable, honest, capable official dedicated to strengthening the rule of law. From the Convergence for Human Rights, we regret the resignation of Judge Gálvez and we send him our solidarity and gratitude for his impeccable work. We call on Guatemalan society to raise its voice, promote the organization, alliances and mobilization necessary to recover the rights that today are violated by those from the #CriminalAlliance who have assaulted democracy. Guatemala, November 15, 2022