A former President of Guatemala, already in jail, has been accused of taking bribes to favour a Spanish bidder for a concession at one of the Central American country’s major ports.
Otto Perez’s time in office lasted from 2012-2015 before he was ousted after popular protests last year. He is in jail awaiting trial on a different corruption charge involving alleged tax fraud and money laundering.
In the latest charge, made by the attorney general’s office of Guatemala, Perez stands accused of leading a criminal network that let Terminales Contenedores de Barcelona (TCB) win the 25-year contract – worth $255m – to operate a new container terminal at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala’s biggest port on its Pacific coast.
Among the alleged co-conspirators are Perez’s former vice president Roxana Baldetti and Guatemalan Supreme Court judge Douglas Rene Charchal.
Perez and Baldetti are accused of each pocketing $4.2m in bribes in 2013. The total amount of the bribes is said to be $25m and could include more for Perez.