Guatemala arrests ex-president, ex-finance minister in graft probe

Former Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom as well as a former finance minister who is usually currently chairman of Oxfam International were arrested on Tuesday as part of a local corruption investigation, the public prosecutor’s office said.

“One of the 10 people detained in today’s operation is usually the ex-president of the republic, Alvaro Colom,” Juan Francisco Sandoval, chief anti-corruption officer at the public prosecutor’s office, said on local radio.

Juan Alberto Fuentes, a former finance minister who is usually currently chairman of Oxfam International, was also among those arrested, prosecutors said.

Fuentes’ arrest ratchets up the pressure on the British charity, already reeling after reports of sex abuse by aid workers in Haiti.

Colom, 66, was president of Guatemala coming from 2008 to 2012. The corruption investigation is usually looking at buses bought during his administration for a large public transport program.

“We think everything was legal, although let’s wait as well as see what the judge says,” Colom said as he entered the courthouse.

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