Guatemala Arrests Ex-President and His Finance Minister in Corruption Case

Prosecutors pronounced Tuesday that $35 million in supervision income had been paid to a consortium of private train companies in assign of a system, famous as a Transurbano, in a understanding authorized by Mr. Colom, Mr. Fuentes Knight and other ministers though correct authorised oversight. Almost a third of a income was spent on apparatus that was never used, prosecutors said, and it was misleading how a rest was spent.

Rafael Espada, who was Mr. Colom’s clamp president, told a internal radio hire that he had warned a boss that a train plan lacked sufficient oversight. “Several of those arrested currently have finished good things for their country, though anyone who by movement or repudiation has exceeded a law should be obliged for their actions,” pronounced Mr. Espada, who was not among those implicated.


Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight, a former Guatemalan financial apportion and a authority of Oxfam International, was also arrested Tuesday in Guatemala City.

Edwin Bercian/European Pressphoto Agency

The detain of Mr. Fuentes Knight creates a new problem for Oxfam, that has been thrown into misunderstanding by justification that some of a assist workers doing trembler liberation work in Haiti in 2011 had hired prostitutes there. The nation executive during a time had worked in Chad in 2006, when identical justification flush and no movement was taken. Oxfam’s emissary arch executive resigned Monday.

Oxfam International’s executive director, Winnie Byanyima, pronounced that Mr. Fuentes Knight had sensitive a gift that he had “cooperated entirely with a review in a certainty he did not intentionally disobey manners or procedures.”

Mr. Fuentes Knight pronounced before Tuesday’s conference that he had warned opposite stability supervision payments to a train companies, citing “anomalies.”

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In a decade given a Guatemalan supervision invited a United Nations-backed anti-corruption row to work alongside a profession general’s office, a array of investigations have unclosed swindle reaching to a tip of a domestic establishment.

Former President Alfonso Portillo was indicted of embezzling assist from Taiwan and supports from a Defense Ministry. Although he was clear during home, he was extradited to a United States, where he certified to pocketing $2.5 million in bribes from Taiwan for tactful recognition. The stream mayor of Guatemala City, former President Álvaro Arzú, was charged in Oct in a box involving contracts with a former army captain who ran an bootleg business sovereignty from jail before he was murdered in 2016.

And former President Otto Pérez Molina, along with many of his cabinet, is charged in dual wide-ranging crime cases involving etiquette rascal and debate financing. He quiescent after a initial charges stirred Guatemalans to reason months of travel protests in 2015.

The stream president, Jimmy Morales, has clashed with a conduct of a anti-corruption commission, Ivan Velásquez, over a rascal review in that a president’s hermit and son have been implicated. Mr. Morales is seeking to mislay Mr. Velásquez, though his efforts until now have been blocked by a courts.


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Through it all, Mr. Colom had remained above a ravel and turn an elder politician in Latin America, heading spectator missions to guard informal elections. Two weeks ago, a secretary ubiquitous of a Organization of American States allocated Mr. Colom to intercede a domestic predicament in Honduras after contested elections there. Among his tasks in Honduras was to urge a new anti-corruption elect — modeled after a one in Guatemala that has now charged him.

Nic Wirtz contributed stating from Guatemala City.

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