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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales Accused of Taking Bribes from the Army

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 80447
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2017-11-02
By: Louisa Reynolds

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes from the armed forces. Guatemala’s public finance watchdog, the Contraloría General de Cuentas, said that Morales received eight monthly payments from the Army totaling US$53,000. The Contraloría is investigating the legality of the payments. Óscar Pérez, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, said the payments were made as a bonus for the president and high ranking military officers due to “the high responsibility of his position,” but several former presidents have said they never received similar payments during their time in office. Morales’ official salary is US$20,100 per month, a figure that increased to US$27,300 with the bonus from the armed forces. These revelations, made by the investigative news website Nómada, led to a national outcry. Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and yet Morales is the best paid president in the region, with a salary that is 50 times higher than the minimum wage.

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