Guatemalan judge orders arrest of presidential candidate Aldana

Thelma Aldana, seen in this 2016 file photo, faces arrest in Guatemala. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Department of State

March 21 (UPI) — A Guatemalan judge ordered the arrest of Thelma Aldana, a former attorney general and current presidential candidate.

Aldana, who is running in the June elections, faces an arrest order for three charges including customs fraud and theft, newspapers including Prensa Libre and La Hora reported Tuesday.

Guatemalan police, however, may not be able to detain her because she is registered as a presidential contender — a status that prevents her arrest in the country.

“They are manipulating to prevent my participation in the electoral process because they are afraid of my participation,” Aldana said in a Tuesday night tweet.

Aldana previously worked with a U.N. anti-corruption commission investigating Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. She reiterated her belief in Morales’ role as head of a corruption scheme in a Tuesday night interview with CNN Spanish.

“They know I will continue my fight against corruption and many are trembling because of this is Guatemala,” Aldana added on Twitter.

The Guatemalan comptroller accused Aldana of creating a false position for a consultant, who was paid $1 million from the InterAmerican Development Bank.

According to Guatemalan law, the case is now under strict reserve and neither party can make comments before March 28, La Hora newspaper said.

Aldana was Guatemala’s top prosecutor between 2014 and 2018. Her investigations succeeded in jailing former President Otto Perez and his vice president, Roxana Baldetti.

Aldana has been described by the United Nations as a champion of women’s rights.

According to La Hora, Aldana was believed to be outside Guatemala as of Tuesday night.


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