Guatemala vice president resigns amid customs corruption scandal

Reuters News
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Posted: May 08, 2015 9:00 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti is resigning her position in order to face investigation over her alleged involvement in a customs corruption racket purportedly led by her personal secretary, the country's president said on Friday.

President Otto Perez Molina announced the decision after reports linked Baldetti to a ring accused of taking bribes to avoid levying customs taxes. Baldetti has denied any wrongdoing.

Opposition lawmakers have demanded Roxana Baldetti face a probe, and angry Guatemalans have spilled out into the streets calling for her resignation.

"This is a personal decision to submit to the needed investigations..." Perez said. "Her decision is personal, thoughtful and courageous."

Guatemala's Supreme Court this week ruled lawmakers could revoke the vice president's immunity from prosecution.

Twenty-four people, including the country's top tax agent, have already been arrested in the scandal and authorities are looking for Baldetti's former top aide, Juan Carlos Monzon.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Ken Wills)