HomeNewsBriefInterpol Issues Warrant for Prominent Guatemala Businesswoman
BRIEF

Interpol Issues Warrant for Prominent Guatemala Businesswoman

ELITES AND CRIME / 9 SEP 2016 BY LUIS FERNANDO ALONSO EN

Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for the owner of several television channels in Guatemala on charges that she took part in an illegal campaign finance scheme, another sign that the country’s drive to end impunity is affecting a once untouchable economic elite.

Alba Elvira Lorenzana Cardona is the legal owner of channels 3, 7, 11 and 13 in Guatemala. She is the wife of Mexican businessman Remigio Ángel González. The warrant issued by Interpol is based on accusations that Lorenzana funneled approximately $23,363,000 to President Otto Pérez Molina’s conservative Patriotic Party (PP). In exchange for the financing, the administration allegedly favored her companies with 69 percent of the government’s advertising from January 2012 to April of 2015, reported La Prensa Libre.

The family’s collection of television channels represents a near-monopoly on commercial stations in Guatemala. Media outlets in the country cannot be foreign owned, which is why the firms — and the warrants issued by Interpol and the Guatemala government — are in Lorenzana’s name.

InSight Crime Analysis

The media empire of Cardona’s husband, Ángel González, has been the center of controversy in Central America in the past.

In 2001, Rick Rockwell of American University and Noreene Janus, an independent consultant, published an analysis of González’s business activity in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The researchers found his stations often modified their editorial lines to please the host governments. They also found that González’s media group had a tendency to squeeze out opposition voices, concluding that “González’s ownership practices create an atmosphere that undercuts the development of democracy.”

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles

González’s media empire, Albavisión, named for his wife, does business in 14 countries that include the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina. He owns 107 companies throughout the Americas. According to a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Gonzalez was at the time worth an estimated $350 million. Residing in Miami, Florida, the media mogul has not been directly implicated in the scandal surrounding his wife.

This campaign finance case is just one of several corruption investigations targeting Pérez Molina, his vice president, Roxana Baldetti, and numerous other members of the former administration. While the other cases involve mostly bureaucrats and politicians, the campaign finance case has brought unprecedented scrutiny to members of Guatemala’s economic elite.

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.

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

EL SALVADOR / 13 SEP 2018

An ex-president in El Salvador has become the first former head of state in the country to confess to corruption…

COLOMBIA / 16 APR 2015

A former Colombia governor accused of several murders and links to paramilitary groups came very close to being freed from…

COLOMBIA / 26 MAY 2020

Colombia’s top prosecutor says that Madrid-based businessman Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo is Memo Fantasma, confirming InSight Crime's investigation into the…

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…