Ex-Guatemala president candidate charged in Odebrecht bribes

AP News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2018 4:20 PM
Ex-Guatemala president candidate charged in Odebrecht bribes

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — U.S. authorities have detained former Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon to face charges in Guatemala.

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City said Sunday the detention occurred at an undisclosed location in accordance with an Interpol request.

The charges involve Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, which has acknowledged paying bribes across the region and elsewhere to win public works contracts.

Baldizon is a tycoon-turned-political populist who lost a runoff election in 2011 to Otto Perez Molina, the former president who is himself facing trial in a separate corruption case.

A statement from prosecutors alleges Baldizon took bribes from Odebrecht to help win highway construction contracts in Guatemala. He faces charges of conspiracy, receiving bribes and money laundering in the first Odebrecht-related corruption case in Guatemala.