HomeNewsBriefGuatemala’s Ex-President Accused of Taking Bribe, Betraying ‘El Chapo’
BRIEF

Guatemala’s Ex-President Accused of Taking Bribe, Betraying ‘El Chapo’

EL CHAPO / 9 SEP 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A new report alleges Guatemala’s recently resigned president Otto Perez Molina accepted a bribe from Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, an accusation that, if confirmed, would further tarnish the already disgraced leader.

According to Guatemalan news program Noticiero Guatevision, Perez Molina accepted a $1.5 million bribe from El Chapo in 1993 in exchange for shielding him from Mexican authorities, but later betrayed the drug lord. 

El Chapo — who in July escaped a maximum-security Mexican prison for the second time — was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and sent to a Mexican prison (from which he escaped in 2001). Perez Molina, at the time a general in the Guatemalan army, claimed he lead the 1993 operation against El Chapo, and that the Sinaloa Cartel leader offered a bribe “10 to 15 times” larger than what Perez Molina is accused of receiving in an ongoing customs fraud scandal know as La Linea.

The ex-president is currently facing charges of fraud, racketeering, and receiving bribes in relation to the scandal. 

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles

According to investigators, Perez Molina received around $800,000 from the La Linea scam, a claim he countered by telling of the time he arrested El Chapo. (See video below) Why, Perez Molina asked the court, would he risk his reputation and career over a smaller sum with La Linea, when he’d already rejected a much greater amount from El Chapo?

Perez Molina claiming he refused a bribe from El Chapo 

InSight Crime Analysis

Perez Molina’s bizarre defense of denying bribery charges by evidencing another alleged bribe may backfire.

Noticiero Guatevision, citing the International Journalism Service’s Mexico branch, said Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office confirmed it had uncovered details of the alleged bribe during an investigation into the 1993 murder of a Catholic archbishop.

If Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office comes forth with evidence that Perez Molina did take El Chapo’s money, Perez Molina will be further damned in the eyes of a country where his resignation was widely celebrated, and it would be a huge blow to his defense in the current La Linea case.

Meanwhile, El Chapo remains at large, and is likely smiling at the predicament of a man who once turned him over to Mexican authorities, and possibly cheated him out of $1.5 million in the process. 

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 20 SEP 2011

Reports of FBI agents allowing drugs to be smuggled over the Mexican border, and working for years with a top…

INFOGRAPHICS / 29 MAR 2019

Authorities in Mexico have identified seven gangs that are posing major security threats in the country’s capital, although their status…

MEXICO / 31 OCT 2011

The U.S. government has released its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, which undermines scaremongering by those who warn of an…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…