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Another former Guatemalan President arrested for corruption

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Former Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom was arrested on Monday for corruption in a case involving a bus concession. Reports indicate that Colom, who governed from 2008 to 2012, was detained along with ex-interior minister and the former ministers of finance, defense, economy, education, labor, environment, health and sports, and culture. The detentions followed investigations into a case that centers on a public bus company called Transurbano. The accusations are that the government, led at the time by Colom, auctioned off 25-year concessions for Guatemala City bus routes and the private companies that won the contracts were later exempted from taxes. Prosecutors say the process was deeply flawed and included subsidies and other measures that benefited public servants. Colom is one of many Guatemalan past presidents to be arrested on charges of corruption. In 2015 then-President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti both resigned following a customs fraud scandal for which they were later jailed. Meanwhile, Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala’s president from 2000 to 2004, was extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in 2014.

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