Guatemala arrests ex-president, ex-finance minister in graft probe


Former Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom and a former finance minister who is now chairman of Oxfam International were arrested on Tuesday as part of a local corruption investigation, the public prosecutor’s office said.

“One of the 10 people detained in today’s operation is the ex-president of the republic, Alvaro Colom,” Juan Francisco Sandoval, chief anti-corruption officer at the public prosecutor’s office, said on local radio.

Juan Alberto Fuentes, a former finance minister who is currently chairman of Oxfam International, was also among those arrested, prosecutors said.

Fuentes’ arrest ratchets up the pressure on the British charity, already reeling after reports of sex abuse by aid workers in Haiti.

Colom, 66, was president of Guatemala from 2008 to 2012. The corruption investigation is looking at buses bought during his administration for a large public transport program.

“We think everything was legal, but let’s wait and see what the judge says,” Colom said as he entered the courthouse.

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