Using public funds initially aimed to build new hospitals after the 2012 earthquake, over 50 people created 450 jobs within the Ministry of Health, according to the 100,000-page report published by the U.N.’s International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
“What for the Guatemalans meant a tragedy and losses, such as the earthquake of November 2012, for the criminal structure meant an opportunity for illicit businesses,” the report stated.
The job vacancies would be consigned either to associates who would help the corruption scheme going, or to fake names, so they could collect the salaries instead.
Police have arrested 19 people, but 10 more are still at large, and prosecutors have requested 84 people to appear in court.
They include former presidential candidate, Luis Fernando Perez Martínez, and former Minister of Health Jorge Villavicencio Alvarez, who reportedly started the corruption ring with his daughter Candida Sarai Villavicencio Delgado.
Corruption in the Social Security Institute and a customs fraud ring in the tax authority headed by the highest levels of government were some of the large graft cases in the Central American nation.
These fueled months of massive protests that eventually resulted in the resignations of former Vice President Roxana Baldetti and former President Otto Perez Molina.