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December 20, 2021

Statement of ABA President Reginald Turner Re: Threats to Guatemalan Judge Aifan

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2021 — The American Bar Association is deeply concerned about threats against Judge Erika Aifán, who serves on Guatemala’s Court of High-Risk Crimes and has been recognized for her work on corruption investigations. Multiple proceedings have been initiated against her by magistrates who are under investigation for corruption in an effort to remove her judicial immunity and force her to face criminal charges based on decisions she made as a judge and in violation of judicial independence.

Protection for the independence of the judiciary is a norm enshrined in the Guatemalan Constitution, Interamerican Court precedent, and United Nations Basic Principles.

The ABA calls on Guatemalan authorities to review the claims against Judge Aifán, promptly dispense with those lacking evidentiary support, and reconsider moving forward with any proceedings challenging her immunity.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.