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Press Release

Joint Statement by the Secretaries General of the Organization of American States and the Community of Democracies

  November 23, 2023

The continued attempts by the Public Ministry in Guatemala to undermine the results of the August 20, 2023 elections constitute a severe violation of democratic norms and principles.

The request to withdraw the immunity of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and Vice President-elect Karin Herrera occurs in the context of ongoing efforts by the Public Ministry to undermine the election results and the ongoing, lawful transition process.

The right of those duly elected to form a government and assume office, as well as the obligation of an elected government to refrain from extra-constitutional actions and respect the results, and relinquish power when its legal mandate ends, are clearly stated in Principles 14 and 15 of the Warsaw Declaration, the Community of Democracies founding document.

Holding periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the people's sovereignty, separation of powers, and independence of branches of government are essential elements of representative democracy, as stated in Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

As Secretaries General of the Community of Democracies and the Organization of American States, we reiterate our earlier calls on the Guatemalan government to support the transition process in the context of the existent agreements, the constitution and respect of the sovereign will of the Guatemalan people. We also acknowledge the progress made in the context of the transition.

We urge the Guatemalan authorities to uphold the values and principles as stated in the Warsaw Declaration and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, documents to which Guatemala has stated its adherence, and refrain from attempts to reverse the outcome of legitimate elections and guarantee and respect the presidential transition process.

Reference: E-080/23