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President of Guatemala resigns over corruption scandal

guatemalaGuatemala awakes today without a president after Otto Pérez Molina resigned on September 2, following an arrest warrant issued by the Public Ministry over his involvement in customs fraud ring, La Línea, reported TeleSUR’s correspondent in the country, Mario Rosales, on his twitter account.

Likewise, official presidential spokesman, Jorge Ortega, told news agency EFE that Pérez Molina signed the letter of resignation at 7:00pm local time on Wednesday, September 2. (01:00 GMT Thursday, September 3).
According to Ortega, Molina resigned in order to “preserve the State’s institutionality,” as well as “personally respond” to the accusations being made against him.

Confirmation of his resignation came six hours after he signed the document, while the former President’s whereabouts are currently unknown and the presidential spokesman has refused to give further details, highlights TeleSUR.

n the wake of the letter’s publication an extraordinary session must now be called to swear in Vice President Alejandro Maldonado as Guatemala’s new Head of State; given that the county’s constitution dictates that the position must be occupied.
Otto Pérez Molina is the only president in Guatemala’s history to have had his judicial immunity suspended, given his involvement in customs fraud ring, La Línea.
The country’s Attorney General, Thelma Aldana, stated on September 2 that Pérez Molina will be brought to trial, although it is unknown how long the process could take.
Meanwhile, the Public Ministry reported that the former president will face charges of bribery, illicit association and customs fraud.


The Public Ministry and International Anti-Corruption Commission in Guatemala (CICIG) are accusing Otto Pérez Molina of participating in customs fraud ring, La Línea, together with former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who was previously arrested.
The La Línea network is believed to have embezzled some 1 billion quetzales (130.3 million dollars) a year.
Members of the Public Ministry’s Anti-Impunity Special Prosecution team and the CICIG exposed an audio recording linking Pérez Molina to La Línea.
The former leader of Guatemala had previously denied any involvement in the case on repeated occasions, stating that the audio recording was taken out of context.


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