January 22, 2020 / 1:09 AM / 2 months ago

Guatemala's new president creates anti-graft commission

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala’s new president, Alejandro Giammattei, on Tuesday launched an anti-graft commission, after former leader Jimmy Morales chased out a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body investigating him and his family.

Giammattei, 63, who took office earlier this month, promised to take a hard line on rampant crime and corruption. He created the anti-graft commission tied to the president’s office instead of reversing his predecessor’s decision to expunge the U.N. body, known as CICIG. Giammattei had indicated he viewed CICIG as an unacceptable violation on Guatemala’s sovereignty.

The CICIG, which left Guatemala after 12 years in September, helped to strengthen courts and send some of the nation’s most powerful politicians and businessmen to prison.

In another tough-on-graft move, Giammattei rehired some of the police chiefs whom Morales’ government had fired in order to hinder the work of the CICIG.

Reporting by Sophia Menchu; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Leslie Adler

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