During an exclusive interview with the online outlet Breitbart News on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., President of Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei was clear and lapidary in expressing his opinion with respect to what is happening in the U.S. in wake of the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, the decision that for 50 years had made abortion “not illegal” at the federal level.
“The Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala states that life is protected from conception,” said President Giammattei. “As far as I am concerned, my Christian principles are along these same lines.”
After noting that polls in the U.S. indicate that Americans are deeply divided over the issue of abortion, though some data try to suggest that the majority of citizens are in favor of it, President Giammattei went on to say that “here in the United States there is a problem. It is a problem [originating from] here… These are things, that is, what is going on here, that I don’t meddle in. But what happens over there [in Guatemala], I know.” Abortion, in the small Latin American country, is illegal except in cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.
On March 9, Guatemala was awarded the title of “Ibero-American Capital for Life” with the unveiling of a highly symbolic monument, a well-deserved recognition of the work and commitment of the President and the entire country to always promote and choose life in the face of any obstacle. Starting the next day, the capital, Guatemala City, hosted the “Congreso iberoamericano por la vida y la familia” (The Latin American Congress for Life and Family) in which iFamNews proudly participated.
Today, however, this work and commitment carries challenging consequences for Guatemala, and one of the reasons President Giammattei was in Washington this week was to appear before the Organization of American States (OAS) to formally protest the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) within the OAS.
In its annual report for 2021, the IACHR has stated that it is “extremely concerned” about what it calls Guatemala’s “regressive” measures on abortion, lamenting among other things the membership given last year, along with more than 30 countries, to the Geneva Consensus Declaration, the world’s largest defense of the right to life and the natural family, forcefully sought by the then-outgoing Trump Administration to agree that abortion is not an “international right.”
President Giammattei strongly rejected accusations of “violation of human rights,” recalling Article 4 of the IACHR Inter-American Convention, which enshrines the inalienable “right to life” for all conceived persons.
“[Article 4] states that life, in OAS countries, is protected from conception, just as our Constitution does,” said Alejandro Giammattei. “We cannot change things. If anyone wants abortion to be different, in order for it to be accepted in Guatemala, they have to change the Constitution.”
Subsequently, the Guatemalan president reiterated his position in defense of life and family with his participation in the just-concluded International Religious Freedom Summit, also held in Washington.