The brother of Guatemala's former Vice President Roxana Baldetti and 12 others were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of fraud involving contracting an Israeli company to clean up a polluted lake, police said.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The Organization of American States on Monday established an ambitious new corruption-fighting commission in Honduras aimed at replicating the success of a similar, U.N.-backed body in Guatemala that brought down that country's government.
Speaking from the Matamoros army barracks in Guatemala City where he is currently being held, Otto Pérez Molina told CNN en Español’s Fernando del Rincón that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the U.S. government used CICIG to oust him from power and further its geopolitical interests in the region.
Even some fast-food restaurants joined in Thursday's nationwide protests held to demand President Otto Pérez Molina's resignation. "All our restaurants will remain closed. We are joining in the change reshaping our country," said a message posted to the Twitter account of McDonald's Guatemala.
"The apprehension of the ex-vice president is confirmed," Julia Barrera, spokeswoman for the Public Prosecutor's Office, told reporters Friday morning. The warrant for Roxana Baldetti's arrest includes charges of illicit association, fraud and bribery.
GUATEMALA CITY – In the wake of two major corruption scandals that have led to seven consecutive weeks of anti-corruption demonstrations, a new poll in the run-up to general elections in September shows right-wing populist Manuel Baldizón still leading. But his popularity has stagnated due to a widespread perception that his administration is likely to be as corrupt as that of current President Otto Pérez Molina’s.
Up until now Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina has repeatedly expressed doubts about allowing the crime-fighting commission to continue working in the country, saying it had completed its mission but hadn't achieved important accomplishments. The president's decision to extend the commission's work comes as a major tax fraud scandal unfolds involving high-level officials.
Among those arrested were the current and former heads of Guatemala's tax collection agency, and the president of Guatemalan daily Siglo21. A warrant was issued for the private secretary of Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti, but he was reportedly outside of the country.
Barack Obama's administration has asked the U.S. Congress to approve $1 billion in funding for Central America to bolster security and stem illegal immigration into the U.S. from its southern neighbors.