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August 26, 2015

Guatemalan Supreme Court approves impeachment of President Molina

Guatemalan Supreme Court approves impeachment of President Molina

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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Yesterday in Guatemala, the Supreme Court approved the attorney general’s request to impeach President Otto Pérez Molina.

President Molina, pictured here in 2013, is accused of corruption.
Image: World Economic Forum.

The final decision on lifting Presidential immunity now falls to Congress. The case relates to a corruption scandal known locally as La Linea((en)) which has seen Vice President Roxana Baldetti arrested and charged with fraud and receiving bribes. Prosecutors allege Baldetti and Molina between them received half of all bribes in the case.

Congress previously refused to impeach Molina but the investigation has since broadened, with ministerial resignations. Molina, however, has stood firm in the face of widespread popular protests demanding he leave office. Elections are scheduled for September 6.

The Social and Popular Assembly, formed during protests in recent months, allege violations of electoral law by many parties, and want an electoral commission crackdown. One member organisation, the Committee for Campesino Unity, wants a delay until elections are reformed. They also seek a new constitution.

Molina is accused of conspiring to corruptly divert customs funds. He denies any misconduct.



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August 26, 2013

Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico

Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico

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Monday, August 26, 2013

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At least five people have died and sixteen were injured in a train derailment in Tabasco, Mexico yesterday, according to the director of Tabasco civil protection. The cargo train is often used by migrants.

The derailment occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m local time (8:00 a.m UTC), with eight of the twelve cars overturning. The state government reported that at least 250 Honduras citizens were traveling on the train, which had a scrap metal cargo. The train company and rescue workers continue to search the wreckage and treat survivors, but the remote and marshy site hinders efforts. Two cranes have been dispatched to assist.

Mario Bustillos Borge, the Red Cross chief in Tabasco, noted that current information on the numbers deceased and injured was hard to confirm due to the complex nature of the rescue. “There are some very high estimates, and others that are more conservative,” he said. The first car and the engine, which did not overturn, were used to transport the injured to a local hospital in Veracruz.

The train, dubbed ‘The Beast‘ by locals, was headed north from the Guatemalan border at the time of the accident. Migrants regularly try to hitch a ride to the US by climbing onto its roof or in between cars. Preliminary reports suggest that the tracks had shifted following heavy rains.



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April 10, 2011

Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce

Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
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President Colom in 2010

President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala and first lady Sandra Torres has been granted a divorce by a family court. The couple applied for a divorce so that Torres could stand for president when her husband steps down. The couple would have to divorce because of the Guatemalan constitution which states that close relatives of the president can not stand to be their successor.

Judge Mildred Roca said that she reached her decision to grant the couple a divorce last week, but had to delay making it official until other motions were ruled upon challenging the divorce. According to a spokesman from the Supreme Court, the judge was able to dismiss all objections as and ill-advised or “frivolous”.

The divorce has been meet with criticism from the public and opposition politicians. The couple has been accused of “legal fraud” and Otto Perez Molina, the main opposition candidate, still believes that if Torres runs for office it would still violate the constitution. Perez is the current front runner in the opinion polls with 47.2% while Torres is believed to have 13.7%.



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April 3, 2011

Guatemalan president\’s divorce halted by court

Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
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President Colom in 2010

The divorce of Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom and first lady Sandra Torres has been halted by a court after Torres said that she was divorcing her husband so she can run for president in the next election. The Guatemalan constitution bans the president’s close relatives standing for office.

A petition was taken to the court by a group of students, claiming the divorce is a “farce” that would bypass the constitution. Otto Perez Molina, the main opposition candidate, called the divorce electoral fraud. As first lady Torres has played a big role in politics during the presidency.

Mildred Roca, the judge overseeing the couple’s divorce hearing, reported receiving a threatening anonymous telephone call against granting the divorce. The caller described himself as from a “group defending the constitution”. During the call he threatened to execute her family should the divorce be granted.

President Colom has been married twice before and the first couple have been together for eight years.



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  • “Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce” — Wikinews, March 27, 2008

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March 27, 2011

Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce

Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
Location of Guatemala

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President Colom in 2010

According to judicial spokesman Edwin Escobar, Alvaro Colom, president of Guatemala, and Sandra Torres, the first lady, have applied for a divorce. It is said that the couple, who have been married for eight years, have done so so that Torres can apply for presidency.

The couple applied for divorce on March 11, Escobar said. He says the couple have given mutual consent and did not reveal the names of their lawyers.

Presidential spokesman Giusseppe Calvinisti has denied having any information about the planned divorce.

Before Escobar made the announcement, opposition leader Roxanna Baldetti had warned that the couple were planning to split to let Torres run for the presidency. Many political observers believe the couple filed their request so that Torres can stand to succeed her husband when his term ends in September, as the Guatemalan constitution does not allow close relatives of the president to do so.

Comments on the divorce have ranged from ‘unthinkable’ to ‘a fraud’, the latter description by Patriotic Party candidate Otto Perez. According to Perez, the divorce will not let the Torres run for presidency. “The law does not state a time frame of when a person ceases to be a relative of the President.”

The Constitutional Court in Guatemala, the highest legal authority that determines the legitimacy of a presidential candidate, is to be taken over by new members in April. Legal experts doubt the impartiality of the new judges. They noticed ‘ominous signs of political pressures’ that would cause them to defend partisan interests rather than uphold justice.



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February 20, 2011

Guatemalan football executive shot dead after team meeting

Guatemalan football executive shot dead after team meeting

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
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Deportivo Xinabajul is based in the town of Huehuetenango
Image: Nasukarasuyama.

A Guatemalan football executive has been shot dead after he left a team meeting in the town of Huehuetenango. Deportivo Xinabajul vice-president Carlos Noe Gomez was killed by two men waiting for him as he left after the meeting. Several weeks before the shooting Gomez reported being threatened.

Gomez started receiving the death threats weeks before the shooting over the poor performence of Deportivo Xinabajul. Xinabajul currently lies at the bottom of Guatemala’s national football league. The club also suffered a 2–0 defeat to Suchitepequez earlier in the week.

The Guatemalan national football league spoke out against the shooting asking for the investigation to be “serious and profound”. Prosecutor Nery Martinez released a statement saying that the investigation will be focusing on the death threats Gomez received from fans.

The shooting of Gomez comes four months after the discovery of the body of Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, a footballer who played for Malacateco. He had been killed and chopped up, the note left by his body stated that he had been killed after he was “messing with other women.”



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September 6, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 6, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 6, 2010 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: September 6, 2010

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Rain in Guatemala kills eighteen

President Alvaro Colom says torrential downpours causing flooding and landslides have undone the country’s reconstruction from Tropical Storm Agatha in May. Up to eighteen people are reported killed in rain-related incidents across the country as weather systems in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific batter the region, and forecasters expect another 48 hours of precipitation. At least ten people were killed, 20 rescued, when a landslide buried a bus as it traveled on the Inter-American highway in the worst single-incident.

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Suicide bombing in Dagestan kills five

Five people are dead, 39 injured after a suicide bombing in the Dagestan Republic of the North Caucasus. The information is still unfolding, and earlier reports had three killed, 26 injured. The attack occurred at 00:30 local time (20:30 UTC) when a Zhiguli car packed with explosives drove into the gates of a military base near Buynaksk. AFP reports a second explosion nearby on a nearby highway, but with no injuries.

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Arizona Cardinals release quarterback Matt Leinart

The Arizona Cardinals US football team has released Heisman trophy-winner Matt Leinart after being unable to find a favorable trade. Leinart had been unable to break out of the back-up quarterback role with the team after early injuries kept him on the sideline for a couple years, and expressed his frustration publicly on Monday. The Cardinals, forced to trim their team roster to 53 players, cut Leinart leaving him without a team.

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Perth youth charged in car-meets-house accident

After driving away from police, a thirteen-year-old driver struck a pole, plowed through a couple of fences, and bumped a parked car into the house before coming to a rest at the front door. Police spokesperson Ros Wetherall reported officers attempted to stop the Holden Commodore around 1 a.m. local time (5 p.m. UTC), but had to search for the vehicle which they found crashed into the home on Grovelands Drive, Camillo. The driver and one other youth in the car were uninjured. The young man will appear in court on charges of reckless driving, failing to stop and not having a driver’s licence.

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May 29, 2010

Guatemalan news reporter killed by Pacaya volcano

Guatemalan news reporter killed by Pacaya volcano

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Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

File photo of the Pacaya volcano.
Image: Selbst Aufgenommen.

Aníbal Archila, a Guatemalan reporter for Notisiete, was killed Thursday night as he was reporting on the eruption of the Pacaya volcano. Firefighters and another journalist found his body near Cerro Chino. Two more bodies were found near Cerro, both in the path of a lava flow. Archila, 32, had worked twelve years as a journalist.

Fellow worker Vinicio Fuentes said that Archila couldn’t escape from the rain of volcanic stones, but his cameraman and another group of local reporters could. Archila was found with several lava and rock injuries on his body.

President Álvaro Colom and many other Guatemalan officials attended Archila’s wake at a local chapel. Archila’s body was taken at 08:30 (14:30 UTC) to the Metropolitan Cathedral for a mass. Later, it was moved to Notisiete’s headquarters, where a memorial took place. Internment will take place at the Hermano Pedro cemetery in Mixco.

The volcano began erupting on Thursday, and on Friday searches began for another three people who are missing. Colom has placed Guatemala City and the Escuintla region under a state of emergency. About 1,600 people have been evacuated from the region, and La Aurora International Airport has been closed.

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  • “Pacaya volcano erupts; “state of public calamity” decreed” — Wikinews, May 28, 2010

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May 14, 2009

Guatemala arrests Twitter user for inciting financial panic

Guatemala arrests Twitter user for inciting financial panic

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Guatemala
Other stories from Guatemala
  • 12 July 2014: Texas governor voices criticism regarding US federal border policies
  • 26 August 2013: Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
  • 10 April 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
  • 3 April 2011: Guatemalan president’s divorce halted by court
  • 27 March 2011: Guatemalan president and first lady apply for divorce
…More articles here
Location of Guatemala

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Guatemala, see the Guatemala Portal
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Guatemala police arrested I.T. professional Jean Ramses Anleu Fernández at his Guatemala City home on Thursday on charges of having incited financial panic via messages posted to the Twitter social networking web site. Known as “Jeanfer” on Twitter, Anleu Fernández’s home was raided and his computer seized after he posted a message (known as a “tweet”) on Tuesday afternoon proposing that people “withdraw cash from Banrural, and break the bank of the corrupt,”((Translated from Spanish)) a response to high profile allegations that the Guatemalan Banrural bank is involved in corruption.

The logo of social networking web site, Twitter

Anleu Fernández’s message was posted with the tag “#escandalogt,” identifying it as part of an ongoing discussion on the scandal that broke on Monday when a video recorded by assassinated Guatemalan attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg was distributed at Rosenberg’s funeral and posted to the Internet. In the video, recorded days before he was shot while riding his bicycle in Guatemala City, Rosenberg accuses President of Guatemala Álvaro Colom of complicity in his death. Rosenberg also accused President Colom of responsibility for the April murder of Rosenberg’s client, Khalil Musa, alleging that Musa was killed because he refused to cooperate in corrupt business deals operating within the structure of Banrural, a partly state-run bank. Musa had been appointed by President Colom to the board of Banrural.

Anleu Fernández was arrested according to a law which specifies fines of Q5,000-Q50,000 Guatemalan quetzales (about $600-$6,000 U.S. dollars) and 1-3 years of prison for those who “elaborate, divulge or reproduce in any media or communication system, false or inexact information which harms the confidence of customers, users, depositors or investors”((Translated from Spanish)) of an institution under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Banks. Prosecutor Genaro Pacheco told journalists that Anleu Fernández admitted to sending the message in question.



Related news

  • “Assassinated lawyer accuses Guatemalan president from beyond grave” — Wikinews, May 13, 2009

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May 10, 2009

Guatemalan government may suspend liberties under state of emergency

Guatemalan government may suspend liberties under state of emergency

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

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Álvaro Colom, President of Guatemala.
Image: Agência Brasil.

As part of a state of emergency declared on Thursday when the first case of H1N1 flu virus was confirmed in Guatemala, President Álvaro Colom proposed the suspension of rights guaranteed by the constitution of that country. The state of emergency, which must be ratified or rejected by the Congress of Guatemala by Wednesday, would limit the effect of the articles of the Constitution of Guatemala which provide for the liberties of expression and movement.

Representatives of opposition parties have criticized the measure, asking whether it is necessary to impose limits on freedom of expression in the country, where the third case of H1N1 was confirmed yesterday. Rosa María de Frade of Bancada Guatemala said, “We understand that the executive branch has to take preventative measures, but under no circumstances can we restrict the opinions of citizens, and the actions must be specifically targeted at resolving the crisis.”((Translated from Spanish))

Roxana Baldetti of Partido Patriota compared President Colom’s plan with the calamitous 1993 decision of former President Jorge Serrano Elías to suspend the constitution in the name of fighting corruption. Bereft of support, President Serrano Elías resigned a week later, taking up exile in Panama.

In a Friday press conference, President Colom insisted on the necessity of the measures: “In a case like this, we have to get behind the authorities, and I’m the elected authority in this country, and authority must be imposed in these times of crisis in order to avoid that someone, anyone, takes an attitude which might not benefit people’s health, that’s all.”((Translated from Spanish))

The state of emergency, if ratified, would dilute the legal force of the rights recognized in Articles 5 and 26 of the Constitution of Guatemala. Article 5 provides that no person may be “persecuted or harassed for their opinions.” Article 26 refers to the liberty of movement.



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