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Perez Molina- The President

Fact
Information

Otto Perez Molina was an ex-military officer who became the President of Guatemala by winning the 2011 Presidential Elections as a Patriotic Party candidate. His term would have ended on 14 January 2016.

The scam that led to the uprising

Background
The scam that led to the uprising
  • Guatemalan President, Perez Molina allegedly operated a fraudulent system wherein businesses paid bribes to clear their imports through customs at a lesser portion of the actual tax-rate.
  • The scandal was known as "La Linea" (The line) which came to revealed in April 2015, leading to mass-protests.
  • Molina had repeatedly denied the accusations against him, stating that he did not procure any gains from it.

The fiery mass protests

April-August 2015
The fiery mass protests
  • As the custom-fraud unfolded in April, protesters filled Geutemala city's constition square demanding the resignation of Perez Molina.
  • The protests grew in quantity and quality as few protesters peacefully demonstrated in adjacent streets, unable to get to the main square.
  • The young played drums and danced while chanting slogans.
  • On August 28, the largest demonstration took place as a part of a national strike.

Baldetti's resignation!

Fact
Information

Amidst charges of corrupton for the custom-bribe case, Roxana Baldetti left the office of Vice-President of Guatemala on 14 May 2015. Roxana Baldetti was the first female Vice-president of Guetemala and had taken office in 2012.

The beginning of the investigation

11 Jun 2015
The beginning of the investigation
  • The Central-American Supreme-Court ruled that Molina should be investigated and asked the Congress to lift the President's immunity.
  • The Guatamalan Congress named a commission requested by an opposition party which conducted investigation into Molina's fraud case.
  • The matter was taken up with utmost seriousness amidst surging protests.
  • A spokesperson of Molina stated that he would cooperate with the law as the investigation moves forward.

Molina stripped off immunity

1 Sep 2015
Molina stripped off immunity
  • Five days before the Presidential Elections, the Guatemalan Congress voted to revoke President Perez Molina's immunity from prosecution to trigger investigation against him.
  • The vote was carried out with 132-0; 26 deputies being absent.
  • The anti-corruption protesters formed a human-cordon to allow the deputies to safely enter the chamber.
  • This was the first time a President was stripped off immunity in a Central-American country.

Perez Molina resigns

3 Sep 2015
Perez Molina resigns
  • A few hours after a judge issued an arrest-warrant against him, Guatemalan President, Otto Perez Molina announced his resignation before midnight to "confront the proceedings against him."
  • The Guatemalan Congress voted unanimously to approve his letter of resignation, making the resignation official.
  • It was a noteworthy event that upheld democracy and marked success for the innumerable street protesters demanding his resignation, demonstrating since April.

Perez Molina behind bars

3 Sep 2015
Perez Molina behind bars
  • Hours after his resignation, Molina was taken in custody and sent to jail to await the conclusions of the hearing in the multi-million dollar custom fraud case.
  • In the courtroom, prosecutors played wiretap recording that implicate him in the customs-scam which raised $3.7million in a single year.
  • Half of the sum went to Molina and former Vice-President Roxanna Baldetti.
  • Molina proclaimed to be innocent.

New President sworn in Guatemela!

4 Sep 2015
New President sworn in Guatemela!
  • After Perez Molina's resignation, Vice-President Alejandro Maldinado took office as the new President in Guatemala.
  • Maldonado reached out to protesters, ensuring he would "leave a legacy of honesty" in his brief few months in office.
  • He demanded the resignation of all top government officials and promised an inclusive administration.
  • Maldonado is expected to govern until new president is sworn on 14 January 2016.

About Alejandra Maldinado

Fact
Information

Alejandro Maldinado served as a constitutional judge, congressional deputy and an ambassador of the United Nations. He was the Minister of Education from 1970-1974 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995-1996 before he took office as the Vice-President of Guetemala in May 2015 after Roxana Baldetti resigned.