Culture

Oxfam International chairman arrested in Guatemala

" Dr. Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight today stepped down as the Chair of the Board of Supervisors of Oxfam International". Guatemala's attorney-general's office is investigating the purchase of more than 3,000 buses in 2009, only 455 of which it claims arrived.

Guatemalan prosecutors say they have detained the current chairman of Oxfam International - also formerly the country's finance minister - Alberto Fuentes Knight, the country's former president, Alvaro Colom, and almost his entire former cabinet in a corruption case involving a bus concession.

He was detained along with former president Alvaro Colom, and other members of Colom's 2008-2012 government, in which Fuentes served as finance minister.

Juan Alberto Fuentes has stepped down from his post, Oxfam confirmed.

A number of Guatemalan ex-presidents and other high-ranking officials have been swept in a series of corruption probes. The investigation found that US$35million of government funds were paid to private bus companies in charge of the Transurbano bus system in the capital, without legal oversight.

Mr Morales' predecessor, former president Otto Perez, is now behind bars, awaiting trial on corruption charges.

Читайте также: Barnaby Joyce to take personal leave, avoiding acting PM role

According to the report, his arrest is not related to his role at Oxfam but it will mount further pressure on the charity, which was reeling from revelations that its staff hired prostitutes in Haiti.

The global non-profit, now engulfed in a prostitution scandal, said in a statement it did not know the nature of formal charges against Mr Fuentes.

Guatemala's former finance minister was detained yesterday as part of an investigation dating back to his time in office.

"Oxfam does not yet know the nature of formal charges, if any, against Dr. Fuentes Knight".

"Dr Fuentes Knight maintains his innocence and assures us that he has cooperated fully with the investigation". Similar allegations arose when the same country director was present in Chad in 2006. Oxfam's Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence said that she was resigning amid the scandals.

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