Otto Perez Scandal: Former Guatemala President Involved In New Scandal
Otto Perez Molina is involved in another scandal. This time around, the former president of Guatemala, who is currently in jail for a long list of crimes, has been accused of accepting more than $25 million from a Spanish company working on a $126 million project.
Guatemalan’s former President Otto Perez Molina is involved in another scandal. According to Guatemala authorities, Mr. Perez, who is currently behind bars, participated in a $25 million bribe.
The ex-leader along with his then-vice president, Roxana Baldetti, (who is also in prison), agreed to receive the small fortune from 2012 to 2015 to give port access to Grupo TCQ Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal, a Spanish company that was building the terminal at the Pacific Coast location of Puerto Quetzal. The project was valued at $126 million.
In addition to Perez and Baldetti, Supreme Court Judge Douglas René Charchal is apparently involved in the bribe and authorities are planning to take him to trial very soon. The case is being investigated by Guatemala’s attorney general and an international anti-corruption commission – the government workers have declined to say where they got the tip and documents related to the bribe.
Mr. Perez Molina’s lawyer, Moises Galindo, said prosecutors will have to show where all the money his client allegedly received is. Galindo added:
“I think the prosecutors are trying to build cases against my client because they can’t support the first case of ‘La Linea.’”
Ivan Velasquez, head of the U.N. commission investigating corruption in Guatemala, answered by saying that he has documents showing that Molina and Baldetti have each received $4.2 million in bribes.
Perez Molina’s son-in-law was arrested Friday for allegedly participating in the port terminal scheme, along with Juan Jose Suarez, manager for the company TCQ.
In September 2015, Otto Perez Molina, who was facing a load of corruption allegations, was stripped of his immunity by Congress, which forced him to resign. He was arrested and is in jail awaiting trial. He is allegedly involved in the murders of Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, a Mayan guerrilla leader, and Juan José Gerardi Conedera, a Roman Catholic bishop.