A tribunal in Guatemala yesterday ordered the arrest of former President Alfonso Portillo (2000-2004) on charges of embezzlement. The decision came a day before a seven-year investigation led to the formal indictment today in the United States of Mr. Portillo by the U.S. District Court in New York on charges of money laundering.
Mr. Portillo has been accused of siphoning away millions of dollars in public funds and funneling much of the money through banks in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. During his presidential campaign, Mr. Portillo ran largely on an anti-corruption platform.
According to reports, the Guatemalan police have executed four search warrants in different locations but have not yet located the now-fugitive former president.