Guatemalan ex-President Colom detained in corruption case

The Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Guatemala said Tuesday they have detained former President Alvaro Colom in a corruption case.

Colom governed from 2008 to 2012, and is the latest in a series of former presidents to face legal problems.

Special prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, who said Colom was arrested Tuesday, is looking into the questionable purchases of public buses used in Guatemala City. He said that Colom’s former finance and interior ministers were also detained.

A customs fraud scandal that allegedly sent kickbacks to then-President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti led both to resign in 2015. They have been jailed awaiting trial, but more than 100 defense filings have delayed the trial.

Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala’s president from 2000 to 2004, was extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in 2014. He was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. He admitted accepting $2.5 million in bribes from the government of Taiwan to continue to recognize the Asian nation diplomatically