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Guatemala court overturns warning to UN official

October 19, 2017

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2017 file photo, Ivan Velasquez, commissioner of the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity, gives an interview at CICIG headquarters in Guatemala City. Guatemala’s government announced on Oct. 17 that it renewed Velasquez's diplomatic visa. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A Guatemalan court has ordered the foreign ministry to withdraw an admonition warning the head of a U.N. anti-corruption commission to “refrain from interfering in the internal affairs” of the country.

The ministry made the warning to Ivan Velazquez in a letter this week in which it renewed his visa for one year.

The Constitutional Court said Wednesday a diplomatic note could not restrict the commission’s work.

President Jimmy Morales tried to expel Velazquez in August but the court blocked that order.

The U.N. panel and local prosecutors have built popularity among Guatemalans over the last decade by attacking the corruption endemic in the country, including helping force the previous president from office two years ago.

Morales and his relatives have also been implicated in corruption or illegal campaign financing.

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