MEXICO CITY – Four Central American countries – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua – are struggling, still burdened by the legacy of the last century’s wars. They are resilient yet incomplete democracies, challenged by poverty, violence, and corruption – and all but forgotten by the international community. But now there is reason to hope that these countries’ prospects could improve.
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.
"The signs of fraud are blatantly obvious," said conservative candidate Manuel Baldizón, who four days after the vote is still locked in a neck-and-neck race for runner-up with former First Lady Sandra Torres of the social democratic party. Electoral tribunal chief Julio Solorzano dismissed the allegation.
Barely a news cycle passes in the region without some cabal of political chiefs and cronies getting caught with their hands in the public till. A recent report by Global Financial Integrity pegged Latin America for nearly a fifth of the yearly global outflows of illicit funds, worth 3.3 percent of regional GDP, from 2003 to 2012.
Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez ordered Guatemala ex-President Otto Pérez Molina held in custody until his Dec. 21 trial for illicit association, customs fraud and bribery. The Tico Times takes you inside the Guatemala City courtroom where it happened.
GUATEMALA CITY – A Guatemalan court indicted former President Otto Pérez Molina on corruption charges Tuesday, days after he resigned over a customs fraud scandal that has stoked outrage in the Central American country. Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez granted prosecutors' request to try Pérez Molina on charges of customs fraud, racketeering and bribery. He then ordered the former president held in preventive prison pending an investigation, calling the retired general a "flight risk."
GUATEMALA CITY – A comedian whose shtick was playing a simpleton cowboy who almost becomes president emerged Monday as the man to beat in Guatemala's presidential race amid disgust over a corruption scandal that felled the outgoing incumbent.
Comedian-turned-politician Jimmy Morales, 46, currently is in the lead to become Guatemala's next president by a wide margin. But in a surprise for many, former First Lady Sandra Torres – who for much of the campaign polled in a distant third place – was neck-and-neck with Líder party candidate Manuel Baldizón for a second-place spot in an Oct. 25 runoff election.