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
Condor will fly nonstop between Frankfurt and Costa Rica next yearAlejandro Zúñiga - December 6, 2019
German leisure airline Condor will fly non-stop between Frankfurt and Costa Rica beginning next year, the Costa Rican Tourism Board…
United Nations asks Costa Rica to expedite procedures for refugee requestsAFP - December 5, 2019
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged Costa Rica on Thursday to expedite the processing of…
Collaboration with U.S. helps Costa Rica inaugurate new air surveillance planeAlejandro Zúñiga - December 5, 2019
Costa Rican authorities on Thursday inaugurated a new airplane that will be utilized by the country's Air Surveillance Service (SVA),…