Featured Guatemala

Guatemala’s next president has few plans for fixing rampant corruption, crime and injustice

By Naomi Roht-Arriaza, University of California, Hastings Guatemala’s next leader will be Alejandro Giammattei, a right-wing former national prison director. With 58% of votes, Giammettei beat former first lady Sandra Torres by 16 points in the second round of Guatemala’s election on Aug. 11. It was his… Read More

Latin America was making progress fighting corruption. Now impunity is roaring back.

Five years ago, everything changed in Latin America—or so it seemed. Investigations into a money-laundering operation in Brazil beginning in 2014 revealed a massive bribery scheme involving energy and construction companies. The “Car Wash” scandal saw dozens jailed and billions of dollars in fines—and implicated politicians in Argentina, Colombia, Peru and… Read More

Mother of senior aide to Mexico’s ex-president arrested in Germany

The mother of Emilio Lozoya, the former chief executive of Mexican state oil company Pemex and a close confidant to ex-President Enrique Pena Nieto, has been arrested in Germany, Lozoya’s lawyer said on Wednesday. Lozoya and several of his family members have been accused of involvement in a wide-ranging bribery… Read More
25th June 2019
By Naomi Roht-Arriaza, University of California, Hastings The two winners in Guatemala’s June 16 presidential vote – former first lady Sandra Torres and former prison director Alejandro Giammattei – will face off in a second round of voting in August. But already one election loser is clear:… Read More
17th June 2019
The mayor of Nueva Concepcion, a town on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, stands accused by prosecutors of drug trafficking and money laundering for Mexican cartels that use the coastal route to transport cocaine to the United States. Yet Otoniel Lima, who rides around his poor municipality of 130,000 people… Read More
17th May 2019
AP — A high court ruling barring a crusading former prosecutor’s candidacy has turned Guatemala’s presidential election on its ear less than a month before the vote, and raised concerns about what will happen to years of efforts to fight endemic corruption. The rejection of Thelma Aldana’s appeal means at… Read More
8th May 2019
Guatemalan prosecutors have launched an investigation into a presidential candidate, six lawmakers and a cabinet minister on suspicion of corruption, the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) said late on Monday. The Guatemalan attorney general’s office and the CICIG said in a joint statement the eight had overseen… Read More
26th October 2017
The United States has jailed the first individual involved in the FIFA bribery investigation, and stated that it will take strong action against those abusing its banks. Former Guatemalan judge and FIFA official Héctor Trujillo has been sentenced to eight months in the US for pocketing bribes and kickbacks. Read More
29th August 2017
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales on Monday showed signs of wavering on his decision to expel the head of a United Nations-backed anti-graft unit, who is investigating the leader’s campaign financing. Morales on Sunday declared Ivan Velasquez, head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, ‘persona non grata’ and ordered… Read More
2nd March 2017
He'd rather defend the people who launched the smear campaign against the commission's investigations. Read More
9th February 2017
A Guatemalan Supreme Court judge was arrested on Wednesday accused of influence trafficking, prosecutors said, in the latest anti-corruption drive in the Central American country. Read More
20th September 2016
A former president of Guatemala’s Central Bank who admitted involvement in laundering $30 million will avoid serving jail time, a mixed result for an otherwise successful effort by prosecutor’s to counter corruption at the highest levels of the country’s bureaucratic elite. Édgar Barquín, the former president of Guatemala’s Central Bank… Read More
17th June 2016
Former Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina and former vice president Roxana Baldetti, who resigned in 2015 over corruption allegations, are now facing fresh charges of corruption and money-laundering. They are among 70 people accused of embezzlement of millions of dollars of government funds. However, both have denied the allegations. Prosecutor… Read More