Global News

This article first appeared in Swissinfo on June 17, 2021.

The US government on Thursday banned Guatemalan congressman Boris España Cáceres, along with his wife and daughter, from entering the country for their involvement in acts of “corruption”, including “bribery” in the Central American country.

The sanction comes a few days after the visit to Guatemala of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who has made the fight against corruption one of her priorities in the “Northern Triangle” region, composed of that country together with Honduras and El Salvador, with the aim of curbing irregular immigration to her country.

“In his official capacity, Spain has been implicated in acts of corruption, including bribery and interference in public processes,” the State Department said in a statement.

As a result, it added, “he has jeopardized the stability of democratic institutions in Guatemala and the confidence of Guatemalans in their legislators.”

The fact that he remains in his post, the Washington note remarked, “reflects the history of impunity in Guatemala’s government institutions”.

From now on, his entry into the United States is prohibited, as well as that of his wife, Liliana María Umaña Lemus de España; and his daughter Karol Andrea España Umaña.

The State Department thus remarked Washington’s “commitment” to “the fight against corruption and impunity that is spreading throughout Guatemala and other nations in the region”.

A month and a half ago, Washington imposed economic sanctions against Guatemalans Gustavo Adolfo Alejos Cámbara, former chief of staff of President Álvaro Colom (2008-2012), and congressman Felipe Alejos Lorenzana, under similar accusations.