Guatemala's government on Wednesday accused the nation's attorney general of meddling in state affairs and President Jimmy Morales' international agenda.
Government spokesman Heinz Heimann made the remarks after Thelma Aldana said Morales' administration was seeking to remove Ivan Velasquez from his post as head of the United Nations-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
Aldana said the removal of Velasquez was the purpose of Morales' upcoming meeting in the United States with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"Is the attorney general working on responding to the needs of cases of corruption, or is there also something parallel where she's trying to meddle in the affairs of state?" Heimann asked.
Aldana's vow to resign if Velasquez is forced out appears to be a threat and an attempt at blackmail, according to Heimann, who cautioned that institutions cannot depend on a single person.
The spokesman also said it was noteworthy that Aldana's office was only investigating the ruling conservative National Convergence Front (FCN-Nacion) for illegal campaign financing, especially in light of the fact that that party has already been sanctioned by electoral authorities.
By contrast he said the opposition left-wing National Unity of Hope (UNE) party had spent exorbitant amounts on campaigns yet not come under scrutiny by the AG's office.
Heimann said that during Morales' meeting Friday with Guterres the president would seek greater UN support in strengthening national and international institutions responsible for combating impunity.
Those institutions include CICIG, an international body set up to assist with the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to illegal groups and clandestine security structures in Guatemala.