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  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands President Jimmy Morales before a meeting at the National Palace of Culture in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 28, 2018.

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands President Jimmy Morales before a meeting at the National Palace of Culture in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 July 2018

Ex-foreign minister Edgar Gutierrez filed a complaint on behalf of two victims whose identities remain undisclosed due security concerns.

Guatemala's former foreign minister Edgar Gutierrez filed a complaint Monday at the Public Ministry against President Jimmy Morales for sexually abusing two women.

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Gutierrez said he is acting on behalf of two young women who claim they were sexually abused by Morales. The complaint was filed in the presence of Morales' ally Consuelo Porras, Guatemala's Attorney General.

The report says both victims are public servants from different offices that were invited to the Presidential House on different occasions. Once there, they were taken to a private area of the residence.

One of the victims claims to have a picture and an audio in which the voice of Morales can be heard under the effects of alcohol.

“She did it because she wanted to file a complaint and needed evidence, because she knew her word against the president's would be a difficult [case to prove],” said Gutierrez in a press conference along with Consuelo.

The names of the victims remains undisclosed and were not included in the report due to security concerns and their own decision. However, they agreed to meet prosecutors if granted appropriate security and caution measures.

The Attorney General promised the identity of the victims will be kept safe and that the corresponding security measures will be implemented.

As neither the names nor other information were presented, Porras said the meeting between the ministry and Gutierrez was considered as a “starting point” for a future, full investigation.

“What I presented is a complaint as a hearsay witness. I presented a narration of the events... I didn't deliver audio neither video, because I don't have them myself.” Gutierrez added.

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Porras called on all Guatemalan women to trust the Public Ministry and denounce aggressors with confidence that justice will be delivered.

“The PM will back every woman. It will act with promptness and responsibility,” she said.

The former minister had already revealed the cases in an op-ed column dated June 18, in which he accused the president of harnessing his authority to "abuse young ladies" and called for the president’s resignation.

Weeks later, he gave further details about the allegations to Guatemalan media outlet, La Coma Periodismo, saying that "young women working in the public sector who have systematically been subjected, against their will, to demeaning acts for any human being," at the hands of the current head of state.

He also said these aggressions were committed by Morales with the complicity of his inner circle of high-ranking government officials. The abuses were "committed or induced by high-ranking government authorities who, taking advantage of their rank, their position of power, trampled on the dignity of Guatemalan women."

Gutierrez claims there are about 10 similar cases against Morales, but due to fear only two of them have agreed to take legal measures against him. "They are not yet ready to file a criminal complaint. There is fear, there is also fear of the stigma (in this) conservative society and prudent family circles" he said.

In 2015, Claudia Josefa Chavez Lopez filed a complaint of sexual aggression, injuries, threats, psychological violence and coercion against Morales when he was still a candidate. She demanded US$2,500 for the damages, but the Public Ministry dismissed the complaint.

Jimmy Morales is walking a thin line as multiple accusations are threatening his administration, including several corruption cases since last year, a group of business people admitting to ilegally financing his campaign in May, the murder and harassment of social and environmental leaders resisting against state backed projects, the embassy move to Jerusalem and the terrible management of the social disaster caused by the latest, violent eruption of the Fuego volcano.


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