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Former Guatemala Interior Minister Accused of Receiving Money from Los Zetas

LADB Article ID: 80379
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2017-08-17
By: Louisa Reynolds

Guatemala’s former interior minister, Mauricio López Bonilla, who was decorated as a hero during the country’s 36-year-long civil war and was regarded a staunch ally of the US government, in facing three counts of corruption charges as well as an extradition request from the US Department of Justice to face drug trafficking charges.López Bonilla and former Vice President Roxana Baldetti were each indicted on the criminal charge of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine within the US in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Feb. 22. The Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office received the request for Baldetti’s extradition on June 7, followed on June 23 by the request for López Bonilla’s extradition, both from the US Department of Justice.López Bonilla was head of the Interior Ministry during the administration of former President Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015) and Baldetti, both of the Partido Patriota. He had one of the biggest budgets in the Guatemalan cabinet––larger than the armed forces’ budget––and was in charge of overseeing the police as well as the prison service.

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