Guatemalan court approves extradition to U.S. of former President Alfonso Portillo

August 31, 2012

GUATEMALA CITY – U.S. officials applauded a Thursday ruling by a Guatemalan court that allows former President Alfonso Portillo (2000-2004) to be extradited to the United States on charges of laundering some $70 million of allegedly embezzled foreign donations.

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ruled that Portillo can be extradited, but can’t be sent to a U.S. facility for violent offenders.

In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala said the decision reflects the progress that Guatemala’s government is making against impunity.

Last November, Former President Álvaro Colom (2008-2012) authorized the extradition of Portillo after a Guatemalan court agreed to the U.S. request.

Portillo’s attorneys sought the annulment of the court’s authorization, claiming that the former president’s life would  be in danger if he were sent to the U.S.

Portillo is also charged in a New York federal court with money laundering and embezzling $1.5 million donated by Taiwan to buy schoolbooks for Guatemalan children.

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