Guatemala Requests Sweden and Venezuela 'Replace Ambassadors'


Guatemala asked the governments of Sweden and Venezuela on Thursday to withdraw their ambassadors from the Central American country, accusing the diplomats of improperly interfering in domestic politics.

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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, who has been assailed by graft accusations against members of his family, has been at loggerheads with the United Nations-backed CICIG, a powerful anti-corruption body with broad international backing. 

He risks provoking an international outcry and isolating his government by acting to remove the diplomats, Reuters reports. 

"Because Ambassadors Anders Kompass and Elena Alicia Salcedo Poleo have, in the course of their work, assumed attitudes that result in interference in the internal affairs of Guatemala, the governments of Sweden and Venezuela have been asked to withdraw them," Guatemala’s foreign ministry said in a statement, without giving further details.

The foreign ministry, which scheduled a news conference for later on Thursday, said it was not declaring the diplomats personas non grata. However, it said it would wait for the governments of Sweden and Guatemala to present new ambassadors. They have yet to publicly respond.

Kompass, formerly the director of field operations for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, made headlines in 2016 when he revealed that the United Nations had been guilty of covering up dozens of cases of sexual abuse against women and children by its global workforce.

Morales, a former television comedian, became embroiled in a dispute with the United Nations earlier this year when the CICIG tried to impeach him. Morales avoided impeachment, but failed to expel the head of CICIG after criticism from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.


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