Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo
Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo speaks during an interview with AFP in Panama City on December 19, 2023. AFP

The United States on Thursday added a Guatemalan prosecutor and judge targeting president-elect Bernardo Arevalo to a corruption blacklist, making them ineligible for US visas.

Arevalo pulled off an upset in August elections on an anti-corruption platform and has since been in a tug-of-war with authorities seen as attempting to block his inauguration on January 14.

In a report to Congress, the State Department said that judge Fredy Orellana and prosecutor Cinthia Monterroso "undermined democratic processes" by bringing politically motivated charges against journalists.

The two will no longer be eligible for US visas, with any current visas to be revoked.

Arevalo has brought lawsuits against both of them as well as Attorney General Consuelo Porras and anti-graft prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, both of whom were earlier hit by US visa bans.

Prosecutors have seized ballots in the first round of the election and, in between the two rounds, sought to suspend Arevalo's party, moves that raised international concern.

In an interview this week with AFP, Arevalo voiced confidence that he would be allowed to take office after blocking the "slow-motion coup d'etat."

The latest actions are part of an annual report required by the US Congress on corruption in Central America.

Among others on the latest blacklist are El Salvador's ex-president Mauricio Funes, who was accused by the State Department of schemes that resulted in the "pilfering hundreds of millions of dollars from state coffers."

Funes, who was president from 2009 to 2014, left for leftist-run Nicaragua in 2016.

Earlier this year he was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison for alleged secret negotiations with criminal gangs that long rampaged through El Salvador.