Call for politicians in Guatemala to wipe out corruption

Guatemala’s bishops have called for the country's electoral law to be overhauled and for political parties to wipe out corruption.

In a pastoral letter, the bishops’ conference said it supported protesters who have held demonstrations across the country during the past month, demanding that President Otto Perez Molina, a former military general elected in 2011, step down.

Although not themselves calling on President Perez to resign, the bishops said the “discovery of organized corruption in state institutions” had put the government in “crisis”, and that it was necessary “to break the cycle of corruption, impunity and conflict to be a different Guatemala”.

Since early May, corruption scandals have forced the resignations or firing of dozens of government officials, including the Vice-President, the head of the central bank, and top ministers.  President Perez had rejected claims that his government is collapsing and has vowed to finish his term, which expires in January.