The Robert Mueller of Latin America

Sep 4, 2020

Crusading prosecutor Iván Velásquez has been called the Robert Mueller of Latin America. He’s known for jailing presidents and paramilitaries.


But Velásquez met his match when he went after Jimmy Morales, a television comedian who was elected president of Guatemala, and Donald Trump backed him up.

Like the alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine that prompted Trump’s impeachment, the details can seem confusing – but, ultimately, Velásquez says, the deal was simple: Morales got Trump to pull U.S. support for an international anti-corruption force that was going after his family. And he says in exchange, Trump secured Guatemala’s support for some of his most controversial policies, both in the Middle East and on immigration.

Veteran radio journalist Maria Martin teams up with Reveal’s Anayansi Diaz-Cortes for this week’s show. Martin takes us to Huehuetenango, a province near Guatemala’s border with Mexico that sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. There, she shows that Trump’s hard-line immigration policies are doing nothing to slow the movement of people from Guatemala to the southern border of the U.S.