Guatemala’s ex-president, Otto Perez, says the US was behind his ouster from power by interfering in the Central American country’s domestic affairs days after he resigned and an arrest warrant was issued for him over corruption charges.
Guatemalan prosecutors and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) took action against Perez following months of probe.
They also allegedly acquired information from some 89,000 telephone taps, almost 6,000 emails and 17 raids during the process.
Earlier this year, Washington reportedly pressured Perez to make changes to his administration and renew the CICIG’s mandate.
In a Wednesday interview with CNN’s Spanish-language television channel at the military prison where he is being held, Perez said, “Right now, we see the CICIG as an interference by the United States, which pressured most for this.”
The 64-year-old former president further said he believed Washington has “definitely” had a hand in his ouster by pushing the corruption investigation.
Perez is currently imprisoned awaiting trial over a graft scandal after a judge charged him with criminal association, accepting bribes and customs fraud.
In the interview, Perez denied the charges brought against him.
As a retired general, Perez took office in late 2011, vowing to fight crime and corruption. He stepped down last week ahead of Guatemala’s first round of presidential election.
Several high-ranking officials from his government, including his former vice president, have been implicated in the customs scam.
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