Guatemala | President Pérez Molina Resigns Due to Corruption Allegations
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- President Pérez Molina Resigns Due to Corruption Allegations
President Pérez Molina Resigns Due to Corruption Allegations
In April 2015, international prosecutors, working with the United Nations, released evidence of a corruption ring where discounted tariffs had been exchanged for bribes with importers. Among the evidence was wiretaps and financial statements. The following month, Vice President Roxana Baldetti resigned. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alejandro Maldonado replaced her. On August 21, Baldetti was arrested for her involvement in the corruption ring. That same day, prosecutors shared evidence of President Otto Pérez Molina's involvement.
On Sept. 1, in a unanimous vote, Congress stripped Pérez Molina of his immunity. The following day he resigned. On Sept. 3, 2015, Pérez Molina was arrested. Vice President Alejandro Maldonado became acting president.
Former President Otto Pérez Molina
Source: AP Photo/Moises Castillo
On Sept. 6, president elections were held. The results were close. National Convergence Front party nominee Jimmy Morales received 23.8% of the vote, National Unity of Hope nominee Sandra Torres 19.8%, and Renewed Democratic Liberty party nominee Manuel Baldizón 19.6%. A runoff was scheduled for Oct. 25.
On Oct. 2, 2015, a landslide killed 131 people and destroyed 125 homes. The death toll was expected to climb with more than 300 people still missing. The landslide occurred after two weeks of consistent rain caused a hillside to collapse. It was one of Guatemala's worst natural disasters in years.
Jimmy Morales won the Oct. 25 presidential runoff. Morales received 67% of the vote, Sandra Torres received 33%. A former TV comedian, Morales ran for mayor of Mixco in 2011. Two years later he was named secretary-general of the National Convergence Front party. Morales took office on Jan. 14, 2016.