Guatemalan Judge Issues Arrest Order for Ex-attorney General
A Guatemalan judge has issued an arrest order for former attorney general Thelma Aldana on charges including embezzlement, the police said on Tuesday, amid an escalating campaign against people and institutions involved in high-profile corruption and rights cases.
Aldana, who helped lead investigations into top politicians including the current president, is herself seeking the presidency in a June election, and she said on Twitter that electoral authorities registered her as a candidate on Tuesday.
The arrest warrant issued by Judge Victor Cruz cited charges of embezzlement, lying and tax fraud. Aldana has denied wrongdoing.
Aldana is currently traveling and is not in Guatemala, national police spokesman Jorge Aguilar said.
“There is a migratory alert out, because we know she is not in the country,” he said.
President Jimmy Morales has fought back against a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body that along with Aldana sought to impeach him in a campaign financing investigation. In January, he expelled the head of the corruption body, known as CICIG, from the country and has declined to renew its mandate.
Aldana and CICIG’s investigation of former President Otto Perez Molina led to his impeachment and cut short his presidency. He remains in custody on charges of involvement in a customs corruption ring.
Morales’ party is seeking to pass a law that would free military officials convicted of human right’s crimes committed during the Central American country’s 36-year civil war.