Russian company tried to buy Guatemalan president

A mining company with ties to Russia tried to bribe the president. We are talking about the Mayaniquel company, which wanted to obtain the right to work in one of the largest ports in the country.
06.09.2021
RBC
Origin source
The Prosecutor's Office of Guatemala has launched an investigation into the fact of giving a bribe to President Alejandro Giammattei from Russian citizens. The New York Times (NYT) writes about this with reference to the press secretary of the attorney general Juan Luis Pantaleon.

According to him, the investigation began on Wednesday, September 1, so the investigators are in the first stages of work on the case.

In late August, the NYT published an article describing the testimony of a witness who said that he personally delivered a rolled carpet full of money to the home of the President of Guatemala. The presidential administration, commenting on this information, denied the fact of receiving a bribe by the head of state. At the same time, they announced their intentions to investigate the situation.

As the newspaper wrote, the head of the country's anti-corruption department, Juan Francisco Sandoval, a few months ago assembled an investigation team that began to investigate the incident. However, Sandoval was fired in July and then fled the country with the evidence he gathered.

The NYT writes that Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras recently issued an arrest warrant for Sandoval for violation of official duties and obstruction of a criminal case. Earlier this week, she publicly criticized Sandoval's work, stating that he had never informed her about the bribery investigation and had illegally confiscated the documents. Pantaleon confirmed that an arrest warrant had been issued, but did not elaborate. The publication notes that the United States, in response to Sandoval's dismissal, announced that it would no longer work with Guatemala's attorney general.

According to the New York Times, a Russian-funded mining company tried to bribe the president, which wanted to secure the right to work in the port of Santo Tomas de Castilla.

La Hora wrote that it was about Mayaniquel. She was going to agree on the construction of a terminal on the unused territory of the port for loading and unloading bulk cargo. The cost of the facility was estimated at $ 30 billion.

According to him, on August 25, the National Union of Hope (UNE) party, which has a majority in Guatemala's congress (unicameral parliament), held a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the board of directors of the port operator. At it, the parliamentarians asked to explain the negotiations with business representatives from Russia. The deputies presented documents stating that in February representatives of the Russian nuclear energy company, interested in uranium mining, visited the country, and that this was due to the areas that they wanted to rent in the port. 

Governance