41. Claudia Escobar on (anti-)corruption in Guatemala's judiciary system
Judge Claudia Escobar is a former magistrate of the Court of Appeals of Guatemala who resigned from her position because of an executive and legislative interference in the judiciary that forced her to relocate. The interview kicks off with Claudia outlining how the history of more than 36 years of civil war in Guatemala has left a legacy of impunity, civil insecurity, violence and inequity. Up until today, this legacy affects the challenge to develop an impartial judiciary system. Claudia describes the current limitations in the ways judges are appointed and which corruption risks they bring about. The interview continues by a discussion about international involvement in the fight against corruption, why the US might not have done enough to push for reforms and why targeted sanctions towards individuals might provide a promising way to foster public integrity. Claudia and Matt discuss the process leading up and following the “Guatemalan spring”, leading to the election of former president Jimmy Morales (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Morales) and the current term of Alejandro Giammattei (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Giammattei). Finally, Claudia outlines that her top 3 priorities for anti-corruption reforms in Guatemala are 1. Reforming the process of how public officials come to office, 2. Strengthening the judiciary system, also by fostering security of judges 3. Changing the way tax money is spent spending.