Once the envy of Central America for anticorruption efforts that took down a sitting president, Guatemala’s attorney general’s office in recent years has been accused of blocking corruption investigations, protecting powerful interests and even persecuting those who pursue the corrupt.
Consuelo Porras, who has led the office for the past four years, dismisses the accusations and dodges questions with legal jargon and recitations of the law. President Alejandro Giammattei defends her before Guatemalans, international organizations and the U.S. government, which suspended cooperation with her office last year and yanked her visa.
In the coming days, Giammattei must choose Guatemala’s next attorney general, a closely watched decision that observers say gives him an opportunity to reanimate the country’s stalled fight against corruption. But Porras, 68, is seeking a second term, one of 15 candidates for the post.