It may be about pressuring the U.S., which has condemned the proposal.
Guatemalan President Molina attends a news conference in Guatemala City / Reuters
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Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina has been acting strange lately. Just one month after his inauguration, he is already ruffling U.S. feathers, and making waves in the politics of the region in unexpected ways.
Pérez Molina's military past and hard-line "mano dura" security policy made many worry that he would backtrack on justice reforms led by the UN Commission against Impunity (CICIG) and the new Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz. Instead, the new president has come out in support of these institutions. Last week he announced that when CICIG's mandate runs out in 2013, he plans on extending it for another two years without seeking congressional approval. This preemptive decision was in response to a lawsuit filed last month against Álvaro Colom, alleging that CICIG has no right to be in the country because the executive branch bypassed congress to approve its current mandate. The interior minister followed up by asking CICIG to vet his staff to identify any links they may have with organized crime. Vowing to keep Paz y Paz on board for the foreseeable future, Pérez Molina has also stayed neutral as her office tries former de facto President Efraín Ríos Montt on crimes against humanity charges for his role in the civil war (in which the current president was deeply involved).