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Montevideo, April 25th 2019 - 20:18 UTC

Former Guatemalan president extradited to face money laundering charges in US

Saturday, May 25th 2013 - 05:16 UTC
Full article 39 comments
Portillo ruled from 2000/2004 and is alleged to have laundered 70 million dollars (Pic. EFE) Portillo ruled from 2000/2004 and is alleged to have laundered 70 million dollars (Pic. EFE)

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo was extradited on Friday to the United States to face money laundering charges, the US embassy in Guatemala said. A US grand jury decided in 2009 that Portillo, who was in office from 2000 to 2004, should face charges that he laundered 70 million dollars through US banks.

A Guatemalan court cleared Portillo of local embezzlement charges in May 2011. But the country's Supreme Court later endorsed an extradition request by the United States that Portillo face money laundering charges, in a decision rubber-stamped by then-President Alvaro Colom.

Portillo defeated an attempt earlier this year by Guatemala's attorney general to overturn his exoneration, but he was unable to defeat the U.S. request for his extradition.

“This decision is an important affirmation of the rule of law and due process in Guatemala,” the US embassy said in a statement.

Local authorities picked Portillo up in the morning from a military hospital where he was receiving treatment for liver problems. Portillo was transferred to the hospital in April from a Guatemalan jail where he had been held pending a decision on the extradition.

Portillo's lawyers said police put the former president on a plane headed for New York.

“They showed up at the hospital, said, 'get dressed, put on this shirt and we are taking you to the Air Force base,'” attorney Mauricio Berreondo told reporters just before the flight took off.

The US grand jury's indictment claims Portillo, 61, laundered government money through US and European accounts. French prosecutors are also investigating the allegation.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Think

    First Ríos Montt....
    Now Portillo...
    Vamos por todo; Rigoberta!
    Un abrazo
    El Think

    May 25th, 2013 - 06:19 am 0
  • yankeeboy

    I bet cfk will be on her way to a us prison for the same reason soon enough
    If she makes it out alive that is...

    May 25th, 2013 - 11:30 am 0
  • ElaineB

    @2 She will never be extradited from Argentina, though clearly her money laundering scheme is worthy of prosecution. In fact, I don't think she will ever face justice. She may flee the country and she certainly has stolen enough to live out her life in luxury. You see, Argentina is very, very slow about bringing anyone to justice and so many are implicated they will likely blame it all on dead Nestor.

    Cristina's punishment is her rapidly failing health and looks. She has admitted she is vain. The loss of power will be a blow to her too. She wanted to be another Evita but that would only have happened if she had died before Nestor (he who must take all the blame), now she will be exposed and vilified. JMO.

    May 25th, 2013 - 01:21 pm 0
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