The former private secretary to Guatemala’s vice president, who was wanted in the “La Linea” corruption scandal, has turned himself in, giving prosecutors another tremendous witness to build their cases against the former vice president and president.
Juan Carlos Monzon reportedly handed himself over to authorities on October 4, after evading capture for more than five months. Monzon was wanted for his alleged role in the La Linea corruption scandal that has reached the highest levels of government in Guatemala.
Since the case broke in April, Roxana Baldetti resigned as vice president and Otto Perez Molina resigned from the presidency. Both are currently in jail while their trials on corruption charges proceed.
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Monzon has been characterized by authorities and by Baldetti’s attorneys as the head or lead operator of the corruption scheme, a claim he denies, saying that nothing was possible without the “full knowledge and approval” of either Baldetti or Perez Molina, reported Prensa Libre.
The former private secretary to the vice president has described himself as the “link” prosecutors need to close La Linea investigation and has asked for protection for his family. Monzon is currently being held in pre-trial detention, and a judge has ordered security measures for his family.
InSight Crime Analysis
The testimonies of top aides and alleged co-conspirators do not bode well for Baldetti and Perez Molina. Monzon’s decision to turn himself in comes just a week after another top suspect in the case, Salvador Estuardo Gonzalez Alvarez, testified that Baldetti and Perez Molina were the two largest earners in the corruption scheme. And in statements made before the court, Monzon made a direct reference to Gonzalez Alvarez’s testimony.
“I recognize that Gonzalez Alvarez has told the truth. What he said is what he knows. I have the other half,” Monzon told the court.
The prosecutors are going to need everything they can get. In spite of what seems like tremendous momentum, they are chasing history in a country where success in any case, but especially against an ex president, does not come easily.