Demonstrators protest against Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City, Guatemala, August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Fabricio Alonzo
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Morales has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, and rumors swirled last week that Morales' visit to U.N. headquarters in New York was to get rid of the commission's head, Ivan Velasquez. By Friday afternoon, Velasquez stood beside chief prosecutor Thelma Aldana to announce that they were asking a court to start the process for removing Morales' immunity from prosecution, a move that would eventually need the support of congress.Morales remained defiant, issuing another statement later Sunday saying he stood by his original order in spite of what the court ruled.Working together, local prosecutors and the U.N. panel have won popularity over the last decade by beginning to hack away at corruption long endemic in Guatemala, including forcing Otto Perez Molina from the presidency in 2015 .Though some people worried Sunday about the potential for the government to declare a state of emergency and try to use security forces to clamp down, both Allison and Burt predicted Morales won't be able to hold onto power given the new political climate in Guatemala.
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