Skip to content

Guatemala – sanctions

Information on sanctions against Guatemala is provided here.

Description of the sanctions

Freezing of assets

All funds and economic resources belonging to natural or legal persons, entities or bodies designated on a list of those responsible for measures that undermine democracy, the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power in Guatemala must be frozen.

Travel restrictions

EU Member States must take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of natural persons covered by the sanctions. Exceptions may be granted on the basis of urgent humanitarian grounds. 

Relevant EU documents

The EU’s restrictive measures against Guatemala are regulated in the Council Decision (CFSP) 16864/23 of 9 January 2024. The aspects of the measures pertaining to EU law are regulated by Council Regulation (EU) No 16866/23.

Please refer to the EU sanctions map and EUR-Lex for updated information about applicable legal instruments.

Background to the sanctions

On 12 January, in light of the serious attempts to undermine Guatemala’s democracy and the rule of law, the EU adopted targeted restrictive measures against natural or legal persons, entities or bodies responsible for actions that undermine democracy, the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power in Guatemala. The measures also apply to natural or legal persons, entities or bodies associated with those who undermine democracy or the rule of law in Guatemala.

Guatemala has faced several challenges that threaten its democracy, including widespread corruption and threats against the rule of law and human rights, and inequality and impunity. The situation has seriously deteriorated over the past two years. The constant threats and persecution of actors within the judicial system and journalists have driven an increasing number of judges, prosecutors and investigators who are generally regarded as independent into exile. The election on 20 August 2023 resulted in a clear victory for one of the presidential candidates. Since June 2023, several attempts have been made to prevent the democratic transfer of power, which intensified after the election. The recent developments in Guatemala have been considered a threat against democratic stability in the country.