A judge has ruled that former president of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina and his vice president Roxana Baldetti Elias will face trial to determine their involvement in a huge corruption scheme through the country’s customs service that caused the state millions of dollars.
Guatemala’s former President Otto Pérez and VP Baldetti
Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez alleged that former president Pérez Molina and VP Baldetti participated in customs fraud and received millions of dollars in bribes. Other 28 people, including former senior officials from Guatemala’s customs duty system, have also been charged and will face trial.
Among those 30 defendants, 28 will face trial, including former president Pérez and VP Baldetti, while two have been released from prison, pending an investigation into their participation.
In the wake of the scandal, Guatemalans have elected a former television comedian, Jimmy Morales, as their new president. Mr. Morales, who never held public office before, won the election with the slogan, “Ni corrupto, ni ladrón” (as for English: “Neither corrupt, nor a thief”).