In June 2022, the U.S State Department released its annual Engel List, a congressionally mandated report on corrupt individuals in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The U.S State Department justified their addition of Jose Rafael Curruchiche, the current chief of the Public Ministry’s Office of the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity (FECI), to the Engel List due to his obstruction of “investigations into acts of corruption by disrupting high-profile corruption cases against government officials and raising apparently spurious claims against FECI prosecutors, private attorneys, and former International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) prosecutors.” The current Attorney General Consuelo Porras, who was reappointed by President Giammattei in May, was placed on the Engel List last summer. This year, he was designated to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, making Porras and her immediate family members ineligible for entry into the United States.
Another Guatemalan political figure added to the Engel List this year is José Luis Benito Ruiz: Guatemala’s Minister of Communications and Infrastructure from 2018-2020. According to the State Department, Benito Ruiz “engaged in significant corruption when he solicited, accepted, and offered bribes in order to maintain his official position and receive kickbacks from contractors, and facilitated the transfer of proceeds of corruption.” This inclusion signals that the U.S government considers the accusations against Giammattei regarding illegal campaign financing to be credible, as Ruiz allegedly arranged the deal with construction companies for Giammattei’s campaign donations.