EU: new restrictive measures in support of democracy in Guatemala and Haiti

16 January 2024

On 12 January 2024 the European Union established a specific framework of restrictive measures in support of democracy and a peaceful and orderly transfer of power in Guatemala and added new entities to the list of persons subject to restrictions in view of the situation in Haiti.


Following Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/254 and Regulation (EU) 2024/287 of 12 January 2024 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Guatemala, the European Union will be able to restrict those obstructing a democratic transition following the 2023 general elections, which resulted in a clear victory of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo, as attested by the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Guatemala.

Arévalo sworn in as president on January 14, after months of actions carried out by the Guatemalan political and judicial establishment to invalidate his election. In October 2023, the European Union expressed deep concern over persistent attempts to undermine the election results through selective and arbitrary legal and procedural actions in line neither with Guatemala’s constitution nor international and regional standards subscribed to by Guatemala. On 8 December 2023, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy officially condemned the attempts to nullify the results of the general and presidential elections in Guatemala, based on spurious allegations of fraud. The EU therefore agreed in principle to adopt a framework allowing for targeted restrictive measures.

Thanks to this new framework, the EU can now impose restrictive measures against individuals and entities responsible for actions that undermine democracy, the rule of law and a peaceful transfer of power in Guatemala, including through persecution or intimidation of public officials, democratically-elected authorities, civil society, media and judicial operators among others, as well as through financial misconduct concerning public funds and the unauthorised export of capital.

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