It all started with an opinion piece titled “The Worst of the Presidents," published Monday in the daily El Periodico. Edgar Gutierrez, a former Guatemalan Foreign Minister, and the article's author accused the country's President Jimmy Morales of using his authority to “abuse young ladies” and called for his resignation.
The accusation, a small part of Gutierrez's fierce critique of Morales, was quickly repeated by various Guatemalan media outlets, with several recounting the President's dark record.
Adding fuel to the fire, one victim of Morales' alleged acts has agreed to testify in a lawsuit against the President and present evidence to support her claims.
An anonymous source told Prensa Libre there are “various cases” of abuse, but only one of the women “dared to denounce” because the rest “are panicking.”
The complaint came during Attorney General Thelma Aldana's final months in office, but it's unknown if she was aware of the case.
Aldana was an ally of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations-backed organization created to fight corruption and organized crime in the Central American country. Both Aldana and the CICIG opened various corruption cases against Morales, but the congress protected him.
The country's new Attorney-General Maria Consuelo Porras, hand-picked by Morales, denied there are any formal accusations against the president, and said if there were, the Public Ministry would do an investigation.
Alfredo Brito, a presidential spokesman, said they rejected the accusations made against Morales.
“We have no knowledge of the case... we found out the Attorney-General Consuelo Porras also said there wasn't anything, no complaint filed about it. For us this is only a senseless and false declaration of the ex-Foreign Minister Edgar Gutierrez,” Brito said.
Gutierrez's accusations are, however, just one of several faced by Morales. In 2015, when he was still a candidate, a woman accused him of sexual aggression, threats, injuries, coercion and violence against women.