A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of Thelma Aldana, former attorney general and presidential candidate, who helped topple and imprison a former president on corruption charges and investigated current President Jimmy Morales.
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The warrant was issued by Judge Victor Cruz on Tuesday, the same day she was officially registered as a presidential candidate. The alleged charges relate to a corruption inquiry involving illegal hiring, embezzlement, lying and tax fraud. Aldana has said that the accusations against her are politically motivated to undermine her bid as the head of state.
A statement from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal informed that former attorney general, who is currently traveling outside Guatemala, has immunity as a candidate for Movimiento Semilla. While a Supreme Court official said that there "is a migratory alert out because we know she is not in the country."
#Urgent Former Attorney General Thelma Aldana was already registered as a presidential candidate. Therefore she has immunity and for now, the arrest warrant cannot be processed. #Guatemala
The former attorney general (2014-2018) is largely known for pursuing high profile corruption cases as she worked alongside with the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig). The international body played a key role in the investigations that caused ex-President Otto Perez Molina to resign due to accusations of corruption.
“No, I’m not scared. They’re the ones who are scared,” Aldana told Reuters in an interview in El Salvador, where she had previously scheduled activities. “When I go back to Guatemala... I’ll do it with complete calm, I’ll do it without a single problem.”
Now President Morales, who was elected with a promise for change in 2015, is trying to expel the Commission from the country. Aldana said that if she wins, she would make the government efficient and transparent as well as strengthen Cicig.