Guatemala president faces mounting pressure in scandal

By Jill Replogle

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Guatemala’s Congress launched an investigative committee Thursday to consider revoking President Otto Pérez Molina’s immunity, as thousands of protesters called on him to resign over a swirling corruption scandal.

Pérez Molina has been left increasingly isolated since U.N. investigators accused him of running a massive fraud scheme at the national customs service, a scandal that has already felled his former vice president and caused nearly half his cabinet to resign in protest.

Shouting “Resign now!,” thousands of Guatemalans took to the streets in the capital in a show of outrage at the conservative president, 10 days from elections to choose his successor.

The 64-year-old retired general, in office since 2012, cannot run for re-election under the Guatemalan constitution.

He has apologized for the fact the graft happened on his watch, but denies involvement and has rejected calls to resign before his term ends in January.

Carrying signs with messages like “Otto the Thief” and “Corruption is sucking our lifeblood,” protesters vented their anger against the entire political establishment, after weeks of increasingly disturbing allegations of high-level graft.

Read all The Tico Times’ coverage of the recent turmoil in Guatemala

The five-member Congressional committee considering lifting Perez’s presidential immunity, which was chosen by lots, comprises … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times