San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Prosecutor’s Office Orders Capture of Former President

GUATEMALA CITY (EFE) – TheGuatemalan Chief Prosecutor’s Office hasissued a capture order for formerGuatemalan President Alfonso Portillo forcrimes of embezzlement and misappropriationof funds. The office has also begun theprocess of extraditing Portillo from Mexico,Chief Prosecutor Juan Luis Floridoannounced last week.The decision was made after findingall of the “appropriate elements” duringan investigation, Florido said.Portillo, who governed Guatemala from2000 to 2004, is accused by the prosecutoragainst corruption of being the principalperson responsible for misdirecting 120million quetzals ($15.7 million), which disappearedafter being transferred to theGuatemalan Ministry of Defense.Portillo has been in Mexico sinceFebruary of last year.Portillo’s administration has facedrepeated allegations of corruption in stateinstitutions, which, according to investigationsby the local press, may haveamounted to $500 million.At least 11 former officials of thePortillo government and legislators of theformer governing party, the GuatemalanRepublican Front (FRG) – among themformer President Reyes López – havefaced judicial processes for alleged crimesof corruption.

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