Guatemala’s president resigns, awaits charges on customs fraud and bribery

Facing allegations he was involved in a scandal in which bribes were paid in exchange for helping import firms evade custom duties, Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, resigned on Thursday and was jailed after a court hearing.

I am going to respect due process and face this,” a defiant Molina told the media after he left court on Thursday.

Molina withstood demands he relinquish power until Thursday when the Guatemalan Congress removed exemption from prosecution and a judge ordered him detained.  Deemed a flight risk, Molina was escorted to jail following his court appearance.

Molina, an ex-military officer in the Guatemalan Army, rose to the presidency in 2011 vowing to end corruption within the government.  His arrest follows 20 other government officials, including former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who resigned in early May after being consumed by the corruption investigation.

Another ongoing corruption fiasco.

Fortunately for Guatemala, there are no loopholes for Molina to prorogue the Guatemalan Congress and lengthen his stay.

Democracy must have deep roots in Guatemala City.

 

[Reuters] [Photo courtesy newmail-ng.com]