Our Voices

International organizations demand publicity and announce observation of Erika Aifán’s deposition hearing before the investigating judge

Guatemala City, Geneva and Washington D.C.

March 3, 2022

Next Friday, March 4, a hearing will be held to hear the statement of Judge Erika Aifán Dávila, before the investigating judge Roaldo Isaías Chávez Pérez. This proceeding is part of the antejuicio procedure promoted by the Attorney General’s Office against her, with the purpose of removing her immunity, in the denunciation promoted by the Institute of Magistrates of the Appeals Courts of the Judiciary, who question her performance in the process known as “Parallel Commissions 2020”. The recommendation made by the judge will be later heard by the Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice, which will decide whether the antejuicio proceedings are admissible, and whether the immunity protecting the judge should be lifted.

Judge Aifán Dávila has requested that the hearing be held in public, to guarantee the transparency of the investigating judge’s actions and compliance with the guarantees of due process. The publicity of this procedure is a requirement supported by international human rights instruments and has been recognized by reiterated jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, which has established that the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure are not applicable to the antejuicio procedure, among them, the confidentiality of the procedure.

The undersigned organizations that make up the International Observatory on Human Rights in Guatemala, support the work and commitment of Judge Erika Aifán Dávila in the fight against corruption and impunity in the country, and reject the attacks, threats, persecution, and use of the criminal justice system to affect her independence and remove her from cases processed before her office, which involve possible responsibility for illicit acts of the utmost gravity. We also urge the investigating judge to act with objectivity, impartiality and transparency, and to allow the press and the presence of national and international observers during the hearing.

Observatory will attend the aforementioned hearing to observe compliance with due process guarantees and will continue to monitor the situation of Judge Aifán Dávila throughout the proceedings.

Signatory organizations:

Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Lawyers Without Borders Canada

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

Impunity Watch

ACTuando Juntas Program Jotay Guatemala

Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

Be Just

Foundation for Justice and the Democratic Rule of Law (FJEDD)

Guatemalan Human Rights Commission (GHRC)

International Platform against Impunity

International Protection Mesoamerica