HomeNewsBriefEx-President of Guatemala Facing More Corruption Charges
BRIEF

Ex-President of Guatemala Facing More Corruption Charges

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 JUN 2016 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

Authorities in Guatemala have accused jailed former President Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president in yet another illegal scheme, pointing to the depth and breadth of political corruption in the country's previous presidential administration.

The United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) and the Guatemalan Attorney General's Office announced charges related to a massive illegal campaign finance network in a June 2 press release. More than two dozen suspects have been arrested, and several international arrest warrants have been issued in connection with the case.

According to an internationally supported investigation, Pérez Molina began the illicit campaign finance scheme after his losing presidential bid of 2007. From 2008 until the 2011 election, Pérez Molina and his soon-to-be vice president, Roxana Baldetti, allegedly created a network of companies headed by front men which laundered illicit campaign payments from businesses and individuals.

After Pérez Molina and Baldetti won the 2011 election, the investigation found, those who provided the illicit campaign funds were rewarded with favors from governmental entities. The investigation linked at least 450 state contracts to the criminal structure, and found that the illicit campaign financing amounted to at least 500 million quetzals, or about US$65.5 million.

Guatemalan authorities have previously tied Pérez Molina and Baldetti to two other major corruption schemes. One of these plots, known as "La Linea," involved companies paying bribes to customs officials in exchange for help avoiding import taxes. The other scandal involved allegations that Pérez Molina accepted bribes from a Spanish company in exchange for steering a major port development contract toward that firm.

InSight Crime Analysis

In addition to Pérez Molina and Baldetti, the illegal campaign finance network included several individuals whose names have also surfaced in connection with the other corruption investigations mentioned above. The new allegations against the former president and former vice-president suggest that they were not only personally involved in corrupt acts, but also that, in CICIG's words, they led a "criminal mafia structure that had co-opted power through the ballot box in Guatemala."   

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

The anti-corruption actions undertaken by CICIG and the Attorney General's Office have landed Pérez Molina and Baldetti in jail, and it appears that their criminal networks have been largely dismantled. But while the ongoing investigation and prosecution of suspects linked to political corruption during the previous presidential administration serve as signs of progress, Guatemala will undoubtedly face many challenges -- including financial constraints and judicial corruption -- as the country continues its fight against graft in the future. 

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

DISPLACEMENT / 22 MAY 2014

The United States is seeing a flood of migrants -- many of them unaccompanied children -- from Central America, despite…

GUATEMALA / 11 NOV 2014

The criminal history of the drug trafficker who reportedly inherited the network once run by crime lord "Juan Chamale" sheds…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 20 FEB 2012

Recent seizures of illegally trafficked timber in Guatemala suggests there is an organized smuggling ring sophisticated enough to transport the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.