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LASA demands respect for academic freedom and the 2023 election results in Guatemala

November 21, 2023

LASA strongly condemns the recent unlawful arrests of civil society leaders in Guatemala, including University of San Carlos (USAC) students and professors in the “Toma de la USAC: Botín Político” case by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP). It also condemns the politicization of the case in what appears to be an effort to subvert the results of the August 10, 2023 elections.

On the morning of November 16, 2023, the MP unveiled the “Toma de la USAC: Botín Político” case and ordered 31 raids and issued 27 arrest warrants against university professors, administrators, students, lawyers, journalists, and Jordán Rodas, who remains in exile. The MP is accusing them of aggravated assault, plundering cultural patrimony, sedition, and unlawful association.

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About LASA

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 13,000 members, over 60% of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or send an email to lasa@lasaweb.org.