International review Investigation

Guatemala: state of emergency, American Mobil Probe and Mexican ex-Governor’s extradition. Everything points to corruption

Source: Telesurtv.Net.

This Tuesday, the 18th of July 2017 the Guatemalan authorities declared state of emergency on all roads of the country. According to the President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales the infrastructure of his country has apparently fallen apart due to the corruption of previous Guatemalan leaders. On Friday the 14th of July 2017 seventeen people were arrested by Guatemalan law enforcement on the charges of involvement in the corruption scheme allegedly orchestrated by the former communication minister of the country Alejandro Sinibaldi, and on Monday the 17th of July the authorities of Guatemala extradited Mexican state Veracruz’s ex-Governor Javier Duarte.

Today the Guatemalan Minister Cabinet announced in its Twitter account the declaration of state of emergency on all roads based on the official statement from the country’s President Jimmy Morales.

Morales stated that the connivance and corruption of previous Guatemalan leaders led to the apparent appalling state of country’s infrastructure due to lack of the much needed technical maintenance of the roads.

According to the Prensa Libre gazette leader of Guatemala also mentioned two new legislative initiatives that will help to change this gruesome situation. The first governmental project is directed against building companies involved in the corruption schemes. The second initiative will reform the public procurement system.

State of emergency came into effect today and will last for the next 30 days. The Guatemalan Ministry of Communications and Public Housing (El Ministerio de Comunicaciones y Vivienda, CIV) will be responsible for supervising the situation for the next month.

Jimmy Morales wasn’t just throwing fancy words when he accused the former Guatemalan leaders of corruption. Last Friday 17 people were arrested on the grounds of being involved in the fraud scheme apparently orchestrated by the former Minister of Communications and yesterday the ex-Governor of one of the Mexican states, who is facing corruption charges back home, was extradited by the Government of Guatemala and was flown back to Mexico.

America Movil audits Guatemala unit after questions surface over payments

This material belongs to: Reuters.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX) said on Monday it was auditing its Guatemalan unit after an investigation in the country raised questions about payments made by a former executive at the telecoms company.

Guatemalan police on Friday arrested 17 people on suspicion of involvement in a corruption racket allegedly directed by the country’s former communications minister, Alejandro Sinibaldi, who has been on the run since June 2016.

During the probe by a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body in Guatemala known as the CICIG, investigators found evidence of payments from Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala S.A. (Telgua), a subsidiary of America Movil, in Sinibaldi’s account.

A spokesman for America Movil said the company was auditing Telgua to discover why the payments were made.

“Guatemalan law permits these contributions,” the spokesman said over the phone. “What we are trying to find out is why these contributions were made without observing the norms and requirements that Guatemalan law establishes.”

Interviews with a former Telgua executive revealed that the payments were intended to secure the company favorable treatment in a dispute with Tigo, a local rival, CICIG said.

The former Telgua executive took responsibility for the payments, and the company did not benefit from them, the America Movil spokesman said. “The commercial dispute between Telgua and Tigo was resolved through a private agreement … without any intervention from the Guatemalan government.”

A spokeswoman for Tigo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sinibaldi served under former President Otto Perez, who fell from power in 2015 following a CICIG-led investigation into his alleged involvement in a lucrative corruption racket.

Sinibaldi created a series of shell companies to launder money he collected in bribes to authorized state building companies, and some of that money also was intended to finance Perez Molina’s right-wing Patriot Party, the CICIG said.

Guatemala hands Mexico ex-governor wanted in corruption case

This material belongs to: ABC News.

The former governor of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz was extradited from Guatemala to Mexico on Monday to face corruption charges.

Former Gov. Javier Duarte was flown to Mexico City after dropping a fight against extradition. Duarte appeared at the Mexico City airport clean-shaven, guarded and unsmiling, a contrast with his appearance in Guatemala, when he wore a full beard and often grinned broadly.

Duarte fled to Guatemala after resigning as governor of one of Mexico’s most populous states amid mounting allegations of corruption. He faces charges that include organized crime, influence trafficking, embezzlement and abuse of authority.

The Mexican Attorney General’s Office said Duarte was taken to a Mexico City prison for the first hearings in his case. The seriousness of the charges appears to rule out the possibility of his release on bail.

“With this kind of actions, the Mexican government stresses its commitment to take concrete steps to reduce impunity … and strengthen the rule of law,” The Mexican Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The case is sensitive for Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, which is trying to clean up its image ahead of next year’s presidential vote.

Many party leaders had publicly hobnobbed with Duarte, whose state had been a key bastion for the party until it lost the governorship there this year.

Duarte’s legal team has said the state charges are baseless and politically motivated.

Prosecutors allege that, as governor, Duarte embezzled millions and used much of the money to buy properties.

Duarte is one of three fugitive former Mexican governors arrested abroad recently. Italian authorities captured ex-Tamaulipas Gov. Tomas Yarrington in April. In June, former Gov. Roberto Borge of Quintana Roo state was arrested in Panama.

All three belonged to the ruling party.