Former Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom who served from 2008 to 2012, and former finance Minister Juan Alberto Fuentes were arrested by Guatemalan authorities today in Guatemala as part of another corruption investigation by the anti-corruption organisation known as CICIG or the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.
Colom and Fuentes were among 10 people detained in relation to a probe into the purchase of buses for a large public transport program known as “Transurbano” which was rolled out under Colom’s administration.
The allegations against the former President and some of his allies are that the cost of the bus purchases were bloated, and that four business entities had been pre-selected before the actual process of tendering of contracts for service, to provide bus services in 109 routes.
Colom commented to the media that it was his belief that the process was legal but he would leave it up to the Court to decide.
Colom is the second President of Guatemala to face corruption charges from the United Nations-backed anti-corruption organisation.
Last year, Otto Perez who served as President from 2012 to 2015, and who succeeded Colom, was arrested for alleged immigration fraud. He is awaiting trial.
Current President Jimmy Morales almost became another president to face a criminal probe for alleged financial irregularities, but he avoided it after Congress upheld his immunity from criminal proceedings.