Former president of Guatemala accused of taking bribes for container terminal contract

Former president of Guatemala accused of taking bribes for container terminal contract

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.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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