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 Guatemalans Confront Government Over Its Resistance to Fight Corruption

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PostSubject: Guatemalans Confront Government Over Its Resistance to Fight Corruption   Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:45 am

It was like a tableaux symbolizing the confrontation between the old Guatemala of corruption and privilege and the newer fragile democratic Guatemala trying to reform and end corruption. On October 5th, one of the most powerful and long-standing of Guatemala’s politicians, ex-President and current long-time mayor of Guatemala City Alvaro Arzú crashed a press conference presided by Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana and the head of the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Corruption, Iván Velásquez.

An angry Arzú tried to take the stage at the event as Aldana and Velásquez were detailing charges against him. This would be the third time in the last two years that the CICIG and the Justice Ministry bring corruption charges against a current or former President of Guatemala.

Chief prosecutor Thelma Aldana claims Arzú had ties to a business set up by former military man Byron Lima, and that the profits of that business were channeled to Arzú’s Unionist Party. Until his death in prison last year, Lima, who was serving a 20-year sentence for the infamous 1998 murder of Archbishop Juan José Gerardi, was widely considered to be a tremendous power running Guatemala’s prison system behind the scenes. Before his arrest, Lima had been a member of then-President Arzú’s security detail.

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