A former presidential candidate, who was also a minister during the administration of jailed former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, has been accused of running a corruption and money laundering network, revealing another chapter in the story of Guatemala's mafia state.
On the surface, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's 9-year sentence for corruption seems reminiscent of numerous corruption cases targeting former or current presidents in Latin America. But behind the accusations are varying degrees of collusion and control, from heading a criminal enterprise to a one-off criminal act of personal enrichment.
In our June 29 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa and Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos discussed the case of former Guatemala Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla, who is being sought by the United States to face drug charges in a federal court.
Lieutenant Colonel Mauricio López Bonilla, Guatemala's ex-interior minister and previous head of the country's police force, issued orders for his subordinate agents to guard cocaine shipments that drug traffickers moved throughout the country, gave advance warning to criminals of police operations aimed at capturing them, and reassigned officials in an attempt to facilitate drug trafficking. In exchange, he received money.