Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Guatemala

Newsline: Guatemala eyes summit of ‘Taiwan-friendly’ countries in March 2023

Guatemala plans to hold a summit in March for senior officials from “Taiwan-friendly” countries and hopes Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will attend, the Guatemalan ambassador in Taipei said on Monday. Speaking after presenting Tsai his diplomatic credentials as new ambassador in Taiwan, Oscar Adolfo Padilla Lam reaffirmed his country’s friendship, according to a read out of the meeting from the Taiwanese presidential office. “As Taiwan’s unchanging friend and ally, Guatemala intends to hold a high-level meeting of Taiwan-friendly countries in March to promote exchanges between friendly countries and reaffirm recognition and support for the Republic of China, Taiwan,” he said, referring to the island’s official name. “If President Tsai’s itinerary allows, I hope she can co-chair such an important meeting with President (Alejandro) Giammattei.” (https://neuters.de/world/guatemala-plans-march-summit-taiwan-friendly-countries-2022-12-19/) Tsai, who visited Guatemala in 2017, did not say in a statement from her office about the meeting if she would take up the invitation. However, she thanked Guatemala for its support, including sending Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro to Taipei in August just after China carried out war games near the island. Guatemala is one of only 14 countries to retain formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, and one of three allies left in Central America, alongside Honduras and Belize.

Newsline: US embassy in Guatemala apologizes for using photo of dead child

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala on Sunday apologized for using a photograph of a boy who died in a social media campaign against illegal migration after angry responses to its tweet. The embassy’s original tweet, which has since been deleted, advised readers to look after their children and not to expose them to the dangers of illegal migration. The tweet was accompanied by an image of an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala who entered the U.S. with his father, without the necessary papers. The boy died of the flu on Dec. 24, 2018, in custody in the state of New Mexico. An investigation suggested his condition had been misdiagnosed and that he had received the wrong treatment. (https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/us-embassy-in-guatemala-apologizes-for-using-photo-of-dead-child/article_242b801f-4b19-5939-b06f-72126cf0bd49.html) Users on Twitter said the image of the boy could be seen as a threat. “We regret any pain the unintentional use of this child’s image may have caused, and we have deleted the social media posts in question,” the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala wrote on Sunday evening. The photo was published unintentionally as part of a social media campaign “to educate about the very real dangers of illegal immigration to the United States involving unaccompanied minors,” the embassy said.

Newsline: Guatemala’s new president cuts diplomatic ties with Venezuela

Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei cut diplomatic ties with the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday and ordered the closure of its embassy in Caracas. “We have instructed the foreign minister that the only person left in the embassy in Venezuela should return, and that we definitively end relations with the government of Venezuela,” Giammattei said. “We are going to close the embassy.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-guatemala-politics-venezuela/guatemalas-new-president-cuts-ties-with-venezuela-as-promised-idUSKBN1ZF2SB) The conservative Giammattei, who took office on Tuesday, had already indicated he would cut ties upon assuming power. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Rodriguez, in a response on Twitter, accused Giammattei of bowing down to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. “His government will surely become another bad joke,” Rodriguez wrote. “Our respect and affection for the people of Guatemala.”

Newsline: Guatemala to reopen embassy in Jakarta

Guatemalan Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carranza Cifuentes will visit Indonesia on Friday to meet with his counterpart AM Fachir to discuss a plan to reopen its embassy in Jakarta, which was closed 26 years ago when Guatemala plunged into political and economic instability. The Foreign Ministry’s acting spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, said the Central American country opened the embassy in Jakarta in 1990 when it started diplomatic relations with Indonesia. “However, due to the country’s [Guatemala’s] economic conditions, the embassy was closed in 1993,” he said in a press briefing on Thursday. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/18/guatemala-to-reopen-embassy-in-jakarta.html) “So the visit [on Friday] will discuss the possibility of reopening the embassy in Indonesia,” Faizasyah added. The two countries, he said, were expecting the embassy to be reopened before September, and Indonesia considered the plan a positive step as it had shown Guatemala acknowledged Indonesia’s role in both bilateral and regional affairs.

Newsline: Guatemala’s Ambassador to Mexico Injured in Traffic Accident

Guatemala’s ambassador to Mexico, Nelson Olivero, was injured in a traffic accident in Mexico City, along with several others from the embassy, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said in a statement on May 25. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-05-25/guatemalas-ambassador-to-mexico-injured-in-traffic-accident) It was not immediately clear how many people were injured in May 25 accident. Olivero was transferred to hospital, the statement said.

Newsline: Hackers release documents stolen from Mexico’s embassy in Guatemala

A hacker stole thousands of documents from Mexico’s embassy in Guatemala and posted them online. The hacker, who goes by the online handle @0x55Taylor, tweeted a link to the data earlier this week. The data is no longer available for download after the cloud host pulled the data offline, but the hacker shared the document dump with TechCrunch to verify its contents. The hacker told TechCrunch in a message: “A vulnerable server in Guatemala related to the Mexican embassy was compromised and I downloaded all the documents and databases.” He said he contacted Mexican officials but he was ignored. (https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/19/mexican-embassy-hack/) In previous correspondence with the hacker, he said he tries to report problems and has received bounty payouts for his discoveries. “But when I don’t get a reply, then it’s going public,” he said. More than 4,800 documents were stolen, most of which related to the inner workings of the Mexican embassy in the Guatemalan capital, including its consular activities, such as recognizing births and deaths, dealing with Mexican citizens who have been incarcerated or jailed and the issuing of travel documents.

Newsline: Guatemalan court halts removal of Swedish ambassador

Guatemala’s highest court has halted the government’s request that Sweden remove its ambassador. The Constitutional Court ruled that the administration of President Jimmy Morales must follow established international rules in resolving the issue. In early May, the government asked Sweden and Venezuela to remove their ambassadors and accused them of interfering in Guatemala’s internal affairs. Swedish ambassador Anders Kompass was given 30 days to leave after he announced Sweden’s financial support for a United Nations-sponsored commission investigating corruption in Guatemala. The commission, which goes by the initials CICIG, had accused President Jimmy Morales of corruption related to alleged illegal campaign financing while he was secretary general of his party. Morales subsequently tried unsuccessfully to expel the commission’s head, Ivan Velasquez, from the country.


Newsline: Jewish American billionaire funded Guatemalan delegation flight for Jerusalem embassy opening

Jewish American billionaire Sheldon Adelson funded the Boeing 767 flight of the Guatemalan delegation sent to Israel to attend the ceremony in honor of their embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guatemalan foreign minister Sandra Jovel broke the news on the radio show ConCriterio about the speculated trip cost that covered government officials, guests, and religious leaders. Jovel said Adelson did not have business affairs in Guatemala. Nonetheless, director of civil society organization Citizen Action, Manfredo Marroquin, said President Jimmy Morales’s administration violated Guatemalan law by accepting the gift from a private entity, Haaretz reported. The Republican mega-donor had also offered to subsidize the cost of building the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.


Newsline: Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation. Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday when the high-profile opening of the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem by the administration of President Donald Trump raised tension to boiling point after weeks of anti-Israeli demonstrations. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the embassy’s opening on Wednesday in an office complex in west Jerusalem. “It’s not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You were always among the first. You were the second country to recognize Israel,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony, referring to its founding in 1948.


Newsline: Guatemala asks Sweden, Venezuela to remove ambassadors over ‘interference’

Guatemala asked the governments of Sweden and Venezuela to withdraw their ambassadors, accusing the diplomats of interfering in domestic politics and calling the country corrupt. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has been assailed by graft accusations against his family, and he has been at loggerheads with a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body of which Sweden is a prominent backer. “Because Ambassadors Anders Kompass and Elena Alicia Salcedo Poleo have, in the course of their work, assumed attitudes that result in interference in the internal affairs of Guatemala, the governments of Sweden and Venezuela have been asked to withdraw them,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel told a news conference the requests to remove the ambassadors had nothing to do with the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), however.