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April 18, 2014

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Guatemala begins process to replace top prosecutor

Updated Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 | 4:36 p.m.

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala's Congress has formed a commission to pick a replacement to take over from the country's crusading attorney general in May despite demands from human rights groups to keep her until December.

The commission was formed Monday after 94 of 158 lawmakers voted in favor of replacing Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz.

Guatemala's Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of a lawyer who says Paz's four-year term technically began in May 2010, when the official she replaced was appointed, and not in December 2010, when she took the post.

The court's decision has been condemned by human rights groups, which say it favors opponents of Paz. Since assuming the post she has vigorously pursued organized crime suspects as well as military officers for alleged rights abuses.