Guatemalan president sacks 3 ministers amid graft scandal
Guatemala’s embattled President Otto Pérez Molina fired three ministers and his spy chief Thursday, seeking to get a grip on a deepening corruption scandal that already claimed his vice president.
Those sacked included Interior Minister Mauricio López, a close ally seen as the president’s right-hand man.
Pérez also announced he had fired Environment Minister Michelle Martinez, Energy and Mines minister Edwin Rodas and Intelligence Chief Ulises Anzueto.
The president has faced large protests calling for his resignation since a UN-backed investigation uncovered a customs bribery ring implicating a wide array of high-ranking officials.
Vice President Roxana Baldetti resigned this month after a top aide was accused of involvement.
Pérez’s headaches got worse Wednesday when another close ally, the president of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), was arrested along with the central bank chief over a separate corruption case involving fraud in a $14.5-million dialysis contract.
The president said he had asked his entire cabinet to resign 15 days ago, to decide who would stay and who would be sacked.
“The final decision was to make this change,” he said.
He said he had no plans to resign, vowing to ride out his term until it ends in January.
You may be interested
Costa Rica has administered 25,000 vaccine shots, Caja saysThe Tico Times - January 15, 2021
Costa Rica’s public-health system has administered nearly 25,000 coronavirus vaccine shots, the Social Security System (Caja) reported. The figure —…
FAQ: The United States’ new Covid travel requirementsThe Tico Times - January 15, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that all international airline passengers flying to the United States must show proof…
UK bans South American, Panama arrivals over Brazil virus strainAFP - January 15, 2021
Britain will ban all arrivals from South America, Panama, Cape Verde and Portugal from 0400 GMT Friday over fears of…