Facing Protests, Guatemala Postpones Vote on Amnesty for War Crimes


A scheduled vote in Guatemala’s Congress on amnesty for war crimes was suspended when several lawmakers walked out, leaving the session without a quorum. The proposal would have freed more than 30 former members of the security forces and paramilitaries convicted of human rights violations during Guatemala’s long armed conflict. The bill would also halt thousands of investigations.

Opposition from victims’ groups and human rights activists, who rallied in front of the Congress in Guatemala City, as well as international organizations and foreign governments, had put pressure on legislators not to move forward with the vote. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights also ordered the Guatemalan Congress to withdraw the proposal.

The vote could still be rescheduled for the coming weeks and could have political implications for the country, said Fernando Travesí. By not turning up for Wednesday’s session, or by walking out, lawmakers effectively put off the decision for another day.

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The New York Times