As is the case in many countries across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has further undermined the rule of law in Guatemala due to the use of emergency measures to limit fundamental freedoms and blur the separation of powers.

Simultaneously, the ongoing judicial nominations and elections process in Guatemala has been plagued with technical failures and high-level corruption scandals, casting a shadow over the legitimacy of the judiciary and highlighting that reforming the process is vital for the rule of law. Although the judicial nominations process is in sore need of reform, the executive’s recent proposals to do so amidst the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for the open and transparent process which is needed to bring back legitimacy to and trust in Guatemala’s judiciary.

Authors: Jaime Chávez Alor (Latin America Policy Manager at Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice) and Lauren McIntosh (Legal Adviser at ILAC).