Former Guatemala president and VP facing corruption, money laundering charges News
Former Guatemala president and VP facing corruption, money laundering charges

[JURIST] Former Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina and former vice president Roxana Baldetti are among 70 people facing charges in relation to an scheme embezzling millions of dollars of government money. The most recent charges [BBC report] for the pair, who are both facing charges resulting in their resignations, set out “illegal financing, embezzlement and money laundering.” According to Prosecutor Julio Barrios, shell companies were used to hid the laundering and the “money was used to buy goods and services for [Pérez Molina] and Baldetti including real estate and luxury vehicles, as as $4.3 million in gifts.” Baldetti is also alleged to have received $38 million in bribes [Washington Post] between 2009 and 2015 for public work contracts. Both Molina and Baldetti have denied all charges brought against them.

Pérez Molina and Baldetti have faced a swath of legal challenges since their resignation. In April Aldana accused Pérez Molina of accepting part of a $25 million bribe while in office. In December Pérez Molina was charged [JURIST report] by prosecutors, suspected of illicit association, customs fraud and bribery. Pérez Molina was jailed [JURIST report] pending investigation in September following an indictment over corruption charges. Also in September Pérez Molina sent [JURIST report] a letter [El Periódico materials, in Spanish] to both the Guatemalan congress and reporters announcing his resignation and his intention to “stand before justice.” The day before his resignation, Pérez Molina was stripped of his presidential immunity [JURIST report] in a unanimous vote by congress. After Pérez Molina announced [JURIST report] in August that he had no plans to resign, Guatemala’s Supreme Court approved [JURIST report] prosecutors’ requests to impeach the president.