Ex-Guatemalan president gets 16 years for corruption

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 08 2022 11:20 AM

Former Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina arrives at the Megasala of the Courts Tower to hear the sentence of the High Risk Court B for the customs fraud case called 'La Linea', in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Dec. 7, 2022. Edwin Bercian, EPA-EFE
Former Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina arrives at the Megasala of the Courts Tower to hear the sentence of the High Risk Court B for the customs fraud case called 'La Linea', in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Dec. 7, 2022. Edwin Bercian, EPA-EFE

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala's former president Otto Perez was convicted of corruption Wednesday and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Perez, who was forced to resign in 2015, was found guilty of racketeering and fraud targeting the customs system, Judge Irma Jeannette Valdes said as she read out the sentence.

Perez was sentenced to 8 years on each count

His former vice president Roxana Baldetti received the same sentence. 

A UN-backed anti-corruption body revealed several scandals in Guatemala before it was shut down in 2019 by then-president Jimmy Morales after it began investigating him.

One of its key successes was uncovering a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat Guatemala's customs duty system, which ultimately led to Perez's resignation.

He was charged in 2017 as the suspected mastermind of the massive customs fraud.

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