Guatemala: Ex-President Portillo to be Extradited

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President of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom authorised on Tuesday the extradition of former president, Alfonso Portillo, to the United States on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

Last January, a federal grand jury in New York requested his extradition after he had been charged with stealing US$70 million in Guatemalan public funds. He is accused of routing the money through US banks and eventually hiding it in offshore accounts.

After leaving office in 2004, Portillo went to Mexico but was extradited back to Guatemala in 2008 on charges of stealing US$15 million from the military in 2001. He was cleared of those charges earlier this year.

Portillo, who was president from 2000 to 2004, made promises to promote wealth distribution in Guatemala, but has been called one of the most corrupt leaders in recent history by his opponents.

 

 

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