Guatemalan President Resigns Under Threat of Arrest
The president of Guatemala, Otto Perez, accused of corruption and at risk of being arrested after the prosecution’s request, has resigned, as reported by his office’s spokesman, Jorge Ortega.
A judge in Guatemala has authorized an arrest warrant against the president, accused of leading a network of corruption in the country. The prosecution’s spokeswoman, Julia Barrera, told reporters that the Public Ministry (MP) made this request but, for the moment, did not detail when it is going to “be effective”.
The withdrawal of immunity to the president, passed by Congress yesterday gave the MP “absolute freedom” to proceed with the investigation against Otto Perez Molina, as explained this Wednesday by the Attorney General, Thelma Aldana.
The retired general lost his privileges after the unanimous vote of 132 deputies present at the Congress, after the MP and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala accused him of corruption on August 21.
According to an 18 month investigation, Perez Molina headed the underground network within the Tax Authority (SAT), with the complicity of at least 28 people, including his former vice president, Roxana Baldetti, detained since August 21.
Under Guatemalan law, the warrants cannot be executed before 06:00 local time or after 18:00 local time.
The personal lawyer of President Cesar Calderon, told news agency EFE that to prevent Perez Molina to be taken “by force” by the authorities, they would go voluntarily to the court, but did not specify when.
Asked about where the president is, Calderon said he had already left the Presidential Palace, but he did not ask him where he was going, although supposedly he was on his way home.
Perez Molina made himself available to the court handling the case against him, through counsel, to try to avoid “the show” that his arrest would entail.
The lawyer tried to shield his client and therefore presented an appeal to the judge Miguel Angel Galvez, who leads Court B, to show the good will of the president.
The president, who took office on January 14, 2012 as president and who remained inside the Presidential Palace last appeared in public on Monday, and during the last two days only communicated through his spokesman, Jorge Ortega.