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U.S. Requests Extradition of Guatemala’s Former Vice President

LADB Article ID: 80346
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2017-07-13
By: Louisa Reynolds

A formal request by the US to extradite Roxana Baldetti, the former Guatemalan vice president, on drug trafficking charges has brought to light details of her alleged ties to the Zetas Mexican drug cartel. On June 7, the Attorney General’s Office (Ministerio Público, MP), said in a press release that it had received a request from the US Department of Justice for Baldetti’s extradition for “criminal association and conspiracy to traffic drugs.” The disgraced former vice president, who was indicted in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in February, has denied the charges. Baldetti served under the administration of President Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015), who was impeached in Congress over corruption charges (NotiCen, July 2, 2015, and Sept. 3, 2015). Amid a wave of nationwide protests, Pérez Molina and Baldetti were forced to step down in 2015 and were charged with masterminding a massive customs fraud network known as “La Linea,” a scheme that allowed them to receive millions of dollars in kickbacks. The two are incarcerated and face trial for their alleged involvement in the “La Linea” case, among other corruption scandals.

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