June 19, 2021

Baldetti and nine others must pay 4.4 million dollars for fraud

Baldetti and nine others must pay 4.4 million dollars for fraud

Former Vice President of Guatemala Roxana Baldetti and nine other people, convicted of a fraud to the State, must pay about 4.4 million dollars to try to clean a lake contaminated with a miraculous product that turned out to be water with salt and chlorine.

The C Court of Greater Risk, in the hearing of reparation that was held this Friday, declared the responsibility of the ten convicted at the request of the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity, which investigated the case known as "Magic Water" together with the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

In this regard, it established that the State must pay 22.8 million quetzales defrauded (about 2.9 million dollars) plus interest, which completes 34.1 million quetzales (about 4.4 million dollars).

This payment will have to be made "jointly", so each one, including the former vice president – sentenced to 15 years and 6 months in prison for the crimes of fraud, illicit association and influence peddling -, must pay 3.4 million of quetzales (about $ 441,000).

The Court further established that the convicts must give "10 sessions each" to elementary children "on water resources and environmental cleanup."

The president of this entity of justice, Judge Pablo Xitumul, linked the first sentence against Baldetti on Tuesday to the different cases pending against the Guatemalan justice system.

According to the ruling, the exvicepresident, imprisoned in a jail in zone 18 of the capital, used her political power to forge the purchase of the product and accused her of leading and coordinating this "criminal organization".

Taking advantage of his position, Baldetti influenced to grant the concession of a contract for the cleaning of Lake Amatitlán by 137.8 million quetzales (17.96 million dollars) to the Israeli company M. Tarcic Engineering LTD, although they only managed defraud 2.9 million dollars.

The ex-worker is pending with the Guatemalan justice other three cases, including "The Line" – which led her to resign from office in May 2015 – but is also required in extradition in the United States for allegedly having received money and armed security of the cartel Mexican Los Zetas in exchange for passing drugs through Guatemala.


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