Save the Children Says Its Guatemala Offices Were Searched Over Abuse Claims

Guatemalan authorities searched the offices of Save the Children, the international charity said on Thursday, in an inquiry into claims of child abuse that was widely viewed as a political attack in a country with a history of targeting nonprofit groups and human rights organizations.

Guatemala’s Public Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it had searched the headquarters of an organization as “part of an ongoing transnational investigation” into potential abuses against Guatemalan children. The ministry did not name the organization.

Save the Children, which has operated in Guatemala since 1976, said its office had been searched. It denied the claims and said it had not been previously notified of an investigation.

Rafael Curruchiche, who leads the special prosecutor’s office against impunity, said in a video published on social media that the search had involved the “registration and seizure of evidence” in coordination with the national police.

Mr. Curruchiche, whom the United States sanctioned by placing him on a list of corrupt officials for obstructing corruption inquiries and undermining democracy, said that the search followed a complaint filed with the Public Ministry.

Guatemala has had a record of suppressing anticorruption and human rights work. Alejandro Giammattei, who served as president from 2020 to 2024, routinely targeted nonprofits during his term. In 2021, a new law gave the authorities wide powers to dissolve nongovernmental organizations after lawmakers argued that groups receiving foreign funding violated Guatemala’s sovereignty. Charities have said that the legislation suppressed the freedom of assembly and expression.

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