HomeNewsAnalysisInSight Crime Podcast: The 'Car Thief'
ANALYSIS

InSight Crime Podcast: The 'Car Thief'

ELITES AND CRIME / 17 AUG 2018 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

In our podcast this week, we return to Guatemala for the second of three stories on illicit campaign financing in that country to discuss Juan Carlos Monzón, the former private secretary of Guatemala's ex-Vice President Roxana Baldetti.

Monzón, who investigators say once went by the name "Robacarros" or "Car thief," was obviously familiar with how to steal long before he met Baldetti sometime in 2011.

But under the tutelage of Baldetti, and her Patriotic Party (Partido Patriota - PP), he took it to a new level for both himself and his bosses, Baldetti and President Otto Pérez Molina.

During the campaign that year, Monzón helped secure political contributions. Baldetti promised the donors she would return the favor in government contracts and other favors. Most of the money, upwards of 95 percent, moved through personal rather than party accounts, making it impossible to know how much the PP pocketed in the process.

Once in power, the real game began. Contributors arrived to collect on their contributions and contracts were handed out. The pay-for-play schemes reached absurd levels, investigators would later say – hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts and kickbacks.

Monzón managed many of his boss’ schemes, including with his own company, which he had put in the name of his wife. Construction, telecommunications, media and other companies participated.

Investigators would later say that the Pérez Molina administration worked, in essence, like a mafia. All the power flowed through the top; Pérez Molina and Baldetti collected money from every scheme.

It also looked like a mafia. Every year for Pérez Molina’s birthday, Monzón collected money and gifts from the politicians, the businessmen and other beneficiaries of the corruption. The gifts included a Harley Davidson Motorcycle, a yacht, a beach house, and a $3.5 million helicopter.

It didn’t last. It couldn’t. (Well, it could have…) Eventually, Guatemalan prosecutors – working with the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala – CICIG) – went public with a case against the administration and specifically, Monzón, in April 2015.

At the time, Monzón was in South Korea, traveling with his boss, ex-Vice President Baldetti. They cried, as they tried to figure out what to do. There was no way out, or was there?

Hosted by Héctor Silva Ávalos and Steven Dudley. Edited by María Paola Martínez. Produced by Steven Dudley.

Listen to the Podcast here:

[powerpress]

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 SEP 2017

The United States has issued an advisory to alert financial institutions about widespread public corruption in Venezuela, and called…

BRAZIL / 24 MAR 2022

The 2021 ranking of the world's most violent cities predictably features a heavy presence by Latin American and Caribbean population…

COLOMBIA / 28 FEB 2014

The US State Department's annual Human Rights report highlights how in Latin America deeply ingrained corruption fuelled by organized crime…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…