Featured Guatemala

Guatemalan officials arrested for corruption after leaving office

In an apparent effort to crack down on corruption, Guatemalan authorities have started to arrested officials who lost their immunity from prosecution this week when a new administration took office. Police, armed with arrest warrants for eight high-level officials, executed 14 search warrants between Wednesday and Thursday. A former… Read More

Giammattei set to swear in as Guatemala president under corruption cloud

Right-wing Alejandro Giammattei is set to swear in as Guatemala’s new president on Tuesday with a vow to tackle corruption, replacing the unpopular Jimmy Morales. Giammattei, 63, was elected in August after defeating former first lady Sandra Torres in a second round run-off vote. Torres has since been placed under… Read More

‘The Pendulum Has Swung Back’: Latin America’s Corruption Fight Stalls

The biggest corruption investigation in Latin America history began, humbly enough, at a Brazilian gas station, but as it steamrollered across the region, it took down top government officials and corporate titans alike. For those caught up in the scandal, it was a moment of reckoning. For ordinary citizens, it… Read More
19th December 2019
Authorities have uncovered that an eastern coastal region of Guatemala, known to be a cocaine corridor, has been used in the trafficking of jade — a gemstone used for millennia by the ancient Mayans that has undergone a recent investment boom in China. Local authorities and politicians are suspected of facilitating… Read More
14th November 2019
A Guatemalan banker accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers to move cocaine profits between Central America and the United States appeared in Miami federal court Wednesday after his arrest on money-laundering conspiracy charges. Alvaro Estuardo Cobar Bustamante, the director of a national Guatemalan… Read More
24th September 2019
Western Hemisphere nations voted Monday to employ a regional treaty to impose sanctions against embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, accusing his regime of criminal activity including drug trafficking and money laundering. In a meeting convened by the Organization of American States, 16 of the 19 states party to the Inter-American… Read More
9th September 2019
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on Friday unveiled a new independent commission to tackle corruption, taking inspiration from a U.N.-backed body that toppled the previous president of neighboring Guatemala. Bukele, who took office in June, has vowed to stamp out corruption that has implicated former presidents and said he had created… Read More
30th August 2019
Guatemala is ’’captured’’ by corruption, says a report the UN Commission compiled after a 12 years-long presence in the country that ends soon since President Jimmy Morales has refused to extend its mandate. The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) published a report on Wednesday, claiming there was… Read More
13th August 2019
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
12th August 2019
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
25th July 2019
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