On Wednesday morning, Guatemalan authorities raided the home of Gloria Torres, the sister of former first lady Sandra Torres. Torres and ten to seventeen other accomplices, including two of her daughters, are wanted in connection with money laundering and fraud. While Gloria Torres was not home, one daughter, Christa Castañeda Torres, was apprehended. She appeared before a judge this afternoon and is now sitting in a prison cell in Guatemala City.
According to authorities, Gloria Torres and her accomplices were involved in laundering at least half a million quetzales through contracts for "ghost work" in La Democracia, Huehuetango and El Quiché between 2005 and 2007. There looks to be other criminal activity in Petén, Jutiapa, and Chiquimula as well.
The allegations are nothing new, but I'm with Otto Perez Molina here, it's kind of weird that the arrests are being launched with one month remaining in Alvaro Colom's presidency. On the other hand, if you are the authorities you probably want to make sure that your evidence is really convincing before going after such a close member of the president’s family.
So this doesn't help my argument that Alvaro Colom's administration appears to have been less corrupt than the Berger and Portillo administrations. However, at least for now, the authorities are looking at what happened between 2005 and 2007. Then again, I'm not naive enough to believe that Gloria Torres and the others, if they were laundering money between 2005 and 2007, just so happened to stop when Alvaro Colom was elected president.