The Public Prosecutor and the CICIG have denounced cooptation of the state through a network of corruption headed by Pérez Molina and Roxana Baldetti and arrest warrants have been issued including for very high level entrepreneurs.
Among the employers that the CICIG has linked to this case are Flavio Montenegro, president and manager of Banco G & T Continental, Adolfo Fernando Peña of Banrural, Enrique Castellanos, general manager of Claro, and Alvaro Mayorga Giron, former president of the CACIF, among others.
From a statement issued by the Public Ministry of Guatemala:
The Public Prosecutor and the Head of the Public Ministry, Thelma Aldana, revealed at a press conference, that the Court of Forfeiture had been asked to take control of Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal –TCQ-, a request which was ruled on favorably.
"We have requested the takeover from the Judge for Forfeiture and appointed an auditor, and the judicial petition was ruled on favourably.The intervention will be headed by lawyer Alexander Aizenstatd, who now has possession in order to start his duties," the Attorney General said. He also explained that on July 11, 2012 the contract between Terminal de Puerto Quetzal and TCQ was finalised, the latter is a corporation, which was incorporated emergently in order to simulate a usufruct contract.
It has been announced that a court in Brazil has suspended the granting of funds to the project in Nicaragua, arguing that the financial situation of Eletrobras does not justify making an investment abroad.
A precautionary measure approved by Tribunal de Cuentas de la Unión(TCU), the watchdog of use of state resources in Brazil, has suspended the transfer of resources which had been allocated to Eletrobras for the construction, in consortium with the construction firm Queiroz y Galvao, of the Tumarín hydroelectric station in Nicaragua.
President Morales has already given clear signals that the concession contract with the company Puerto Quetzal TCB, will have to be canceled.
Despite being a decision which falls to the Attorney General's Office, in response to persistent queries by journalists, President Jimmy Morales said "... 'The declaration of invalidity is a fact that must be declared. '"
The acquisition of TCB by APM Terminals means that any dispute concerning the granting of Puerto Quetzal will involve the largest group in the world in the maritime sector, the Maersk shipping company.
Following the Public Ministry's denouncement of the existence of an illicit money laundering network operating in the Container Terminal at Quetzal , the government of Jimmy Morales is torn between declaring void the concession contract with the current operator, TCB, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office on several occasions, or making other arrangements with the company. The Morales government may have to negotiate with the Danish giant Maersk Group, which bought 100% of the shares of the Spanish TCB in October 2015, according to an article on Elperiodico.com.gt.
The Public Ministry of Guatemala has announced that its investigations have shown that a network of illicit laundering of money and other assets operated in the port terminal.
Consideration is being given to canceling the contract with the concessionaire Container Terminal Spanish Quetzal after the denouncement that it paid bribes to Perez Molina for the award of the terminal.
The business meeting is scheduled for April 26 and will address issues related to corruption, business ethics and auditing of public funds.
The National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) has announced that the National Meeting of Private Enterprise (Enade) will be held on April 26 at the Sheraton hotel, and will be attended by former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar.
If the Brazilian consortium confirms its resignation of the Tumarín project, Nicaragua will have start a new process in order to tender the project which is indispensable for the country's development.
The construction of the hydropower station has been surrounded by secrecy and lack of transparency, conflicts of interest, legal and political uncertainty and cases of corruption in the investor's country. Although the suspension of the Tumarín project and the resignation of the concessionaire Centrales Hidroeléctricas de Nicaragua (CHN) has not been formalized, confirmation of this news would open new perspectives for companies and investors interested in Nicaragua's energy sector, which must continue to increase its capacity in order to meet the growing demand for electricity.
Transparency International believes that the bill currently under discussion is insufficient to prevent corruption in the state procurement system.
According to the Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, the bill on public procurement in the country should include aspects such as making public the annual action plan to further reduce discretion to recruit directly, eliminating the possibility of "addenda which is harmful to the interests of the State " or improving the process of paying bills.
Among the factors hindering the fight against money laundering, are the existence of bearer share corporations, a lack of collaboration among government agencies, and a weak judicial system susceptible to corruption and favoritism.
From the report by the US State Department:
Panama’s strategic geographic location; dollarized economy; status as a regional financial, trade, and logistics center; and lax regulatory system make it an attractive target for money launderers. Money laundered in Panama is believed to come in large part from the proceeds of drug trafficking due to the country’s location along major drug trafficking routes. Tax evasion, financial fraud, and corruption also are believed to be major sources of illicit funds.
Confirmation of the decline in the financial capacity of the construction company has strengthened arguments by those calling for the revision of their contracts and that the firm not be awarded others.
With objectives similar to those of the CICIG in Guatemala , the MACCIH now has legislative backing and funds to begin its task of fighting corruption, an obstacle to the economic and social development of Honduras.
Following approval in the Honduran Congress of the agreement signed by President Juan Orlando Hernandez and the Organization of American States (OAS) to set up the Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH by its initials in Spanish), the delegate in Honduras of the hemispheric body announced that funding for setting up a new body to fight prevailing corruption, independent of the constitutional powers of the country, is now available.
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