Arrest of Guatemalan President important step to end impunity

Now systemic anti-corruption reforms needed with urgency

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: --


Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation, recognised today the importance of the arrest of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina during the closing ceremony of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference, the world’s premier global forum focused on fighting corruption.

President Pérez Molina stepped down on Wednesday night and was arrested within a few hours on Thursday for reportedly receiving bribes, illicit association and fraud in a scheme that deprived the Guatemalan state of millions of dollars. In the scheme, public officials allegedly took bribes in exchange for allowing businesses to evade import duties through the customs agency. A number of high-level officials, including Vice President Roxana Baldetti, have been arrested earlier during the investigation. If found guilty, President Pérez Molina could face up to twenty years in prison.

“The arrest of President Pérez Molina clearly shows that no powerful person should think that their impunity can last forever. The recent developments in Guatemala this week are a cause for celebration. They follow many months of pressure from brave prosecutors, civil society, the UN International Commission Against Impunity, and most importantly people taking the streets. However, this is only the beginning. Now the vital work towards systemic anti-corruption reforms needs to occur in order to prevent such corruption scandals from happening again in future”, said Elena Panfilova, Vice Chair of Transparency International.

Guatemala has had a very bad track record of impunity for corruption in recent years. The justice system was often seen as weak and co-opted by powerful interests.

As the country prepares for General Elections this Sunday, Transparency International calls on the new president to coordinate with the appropriate oversight bodies a thorough investigation into the whole administration of President Pérez Molina.

 

Note to editors: The 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference took place from 2-4 September 2015 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It brought together nearly 1,200 delegates from 130 countries from government, the public and private sectors, civil society and more.


For any press enquiries please contact

Putrajaya, Malaysia
Natalie Baharav
Tel: +60 11 3570 4916
Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 343820 666
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

Power for Nigeria’s people

Bribery in electricity supply ruins livelihoods, but Nigeria’s residents are speaking out.

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate

Around the world, buying property is a favourite method for the corrupt to launder their ill-gotten gains. However, there are concrete measures that make it significantly more difficult for the corrupt to stash their dirty money in real estate.

Announcing the theme for the 19th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC)

Designing 2030: Truth, Trust & Transparency

Protecting Africa’s wildlife from corruption

When they deliberate over amendments to the global wildlife trade regime, CoP18 must address impunity for illegal timber trafficking in Africa as a matter of high priority.

How the US can help Mongolia get to grips with corruption

A series of bi-lateral meetings and a proposed trade agreement present an opportunity for the US to promote rule of law and an independent judiciary in Mongolia.

Blood diamonds and land corruption in Sierra Leone

A community in Sierra Leone has created powerful short videos documenting their experiences of corruption, forced evictions and a botched resettlement programme at the hands of a multinational diamond mining company.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media