UNITED NATIONS - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva warned world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday of the prospect of a coup in Guatemala, backing U.S. concerns about risks to democracy in the Central American nation after last month's election.
"In Guatemala, there is a risk of a coup, which would impede the inauguration of the winner of democratic elections," Lula told the U.N. General Assembly.
Last week, the top prosecutor's office in Guatemala raided electoral facilities and opened sealed ballots from the election, in which anti-graft candidate Bernardo Arevalo and his Semilla Party overwhelmingly came out on top. Prosecutors allege irregularities in the registration of Semilla members ahead of the vote, which the party has denied.
The U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, Francisco Mora, urged Guatemalan authorities on Monday to end their "intimidation efforts" targeting election officials and members of Arevalo's party.
Mora called the raid "an assault on the rule of law."
Arevalo last week suspended his participation in the transition of power until "necessary institutional (and) political conditions are reestablished." REUTERS