July 14, 2023. Seattle International Foundation (SIF) expresses deep concern over the recent attacks on Guatemala’s institutions and joins the international call to uphold the results of the June 25 elections and the rule of law in the country. Additionally, we recognize the courage and determination of the Guatemalan people to defend their democracy, as well as their right to elect their authorities freely and transparently.
On July 12, the Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) certified the results of the June 25 presidential elections and confirmed that the runoff election will be between the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) and Movimiento Semilla political parties, which combined tallied more than 1.5 million votes. However, moments before the announcement, a criminal court judge ordered the suspension of Movimiento Semilla for alleged anomalies in its founding party documents and, in the hours that followed, the Public Ministry (MP) raided and seized information from Semilla in the Citizen Registry at the TSE and the Constitutional Court issued a temporary injunction in favor of the political group.
During these actions, Guatemalan citizens held numerous peaceful public and virtual demonstrations to express their indignation and discontent over the interference in the electoral process. Additionally, numerous members of the international community, development agencies, international organizations, and electoral observation missions spoke out in support of the election results and the country’s democratic institutions, as did numerous national business, academic, and civil society entities.
Although Guatemala is experiencing a turbulent and unprecedented situation, we are optimistic that both its people and the different organized sectors in the country remain united in ensuring respect for Guatemala’s electoral process and in defending its democratic institutions. As a philanthropic foundation focused on strengthening the rule of law and civil society in Central America, SIF reaffirms its support for the construction of just and equitable societies and for processes led by independent actors, youth, and social movements committed to building a better future.
We urge the Guatemalan authorities to respect the rights and will of the Guatemalan people and we call on the international community to continue supporting this exercise of democracy.