La Línea

2015 ~ 2018

In 2019, after 12 historic and productive years, the mandate of Guatemala’s unique anti-corruption commission, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG by its Spanish acronym), an entity of United Nations, came to an end by decree of the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (2016-2020)

Since 2007, the CICIG has supported corruption probes that resulted in the indictment of Guatemala’s former president and vice president; the prosecution of dozens of prominent government officials such as a Supreme Court magistrate, two former presidents, members of the Congress and government ministers; the ouster of more than a dozen corrupt judges and thousands of police officers; and the detention of powerful drug traffickers.

In April 2015, judicial officials and UN-endorsed body dismantled a criminal structure that received bribes from importers to evade payment of customs taxes. The corruption network, known as “La Línea,” had been in operation for at least a year, investigators said. Its objective was to collect bribes from businessmen and users of different customs in the country in exchange for modifying what importers had to pay to the treasury. For months, tens of thousands of Guatemalans took to the streets to demand the resignation of Pérez Molina and Baldetti, the presidential binomial.

And in the investigation, which involved 80,000 wiretaps and 5,000 e-mail messages reviewed, the researchers found references to “one” and “two” that, according to CICIG and the Attorney General’s Office, would correspond to the participation of Pérez Molina and Roxana Baldetti. Guatemala woke up the next day with the streets occupied by thousands of citizens, some 75,000 in the interior of the country and another 25,000 in the capital, who demanded the immediate resignation of the presidential binomial. For several weeks, the protests did not stop and finally the congress, due to popular pressure, withdrew immunity from President Otto Pérez Molina. To date, the judicial processes against the people who were part of that government is ongoing and the majority of their  people implicated have been locked up in jail.