Former mayor Jorge Barrientos and other 13 people are accused in a case of corruption in Quetzaltenango

Former mayor Jorge Barrientos and other 13 people are accused in a case of corruption in Quetzaltenango

 STATEMENT 112 | Photo: Stereo 100.


The High-Risk Court Judge of Quetzaltenango brought an action today against 14 people, among them the former mayor Jorge Rolando Barrientos Pellecer, linked to a criminal structure made up of municipal officials, entrepreneurs and other individuals who awarded contracts in exchange for commissions.

After the initial hearing statement, the Court found that there was sufficient evidence for the accused to face criminal charges for the following crimes:

  1. Jorge Rolando Barrientos Pellecer (former mayor): Money laundering, passive bribery, continued abuse of power, embezzlement, fraud, and conspiracy.
  2. Carlos Daniel Illescas López (former official of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango): Conspiracy, money laundering, continued fraud, passive bribery, and money laundering.
  3. Carlos Humberto Prado Bravo: Conspiracy, continued fraud, passive bribery, money laundering, abuse of power, and embezzlement.
  4. Carlos Roberto Pereira Gálvez (former official of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango): Conspiracy, continued fraud, passive bribery, money laundering, abuse of power, and embezzlement. Lack of evidence for dereliction of duty.
  5. Cástulo Domingo Cayax (entrepreneur): Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.
  6. Celso Sarceño González (entrepreneur):  Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.
  7. Julio César Saj Güinac (entrepreneur): Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.
  8. Luis Alberto Menchú Maldonado (entrepreneur):  Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.
  9. María Elisa López Ixtabalán (former governor of Quetzaltenango). Conspiracy, continued fraud, passive bribery, and money laundering. The crime of fraud was substituted with a deception charge.
  10. Mario César Pacay García (former municipality officer). Conspiracy and passive bribery.
  11. Marvin Obdulio Rodas López. Conspiracy, continued deception, and money laundering,
  12. Maximiliano Ingemar De León Argueta (former municipality officer). Conspiracy, continued fraud, passive bribery, money laundering, abuse of power, and embezzlement.
  13. Werner Gudiel Domínguez Sánchez: Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.
  14. Willy Rolando Vásquez De Leon: Conspiracy, continued fraud and money laundering.

The accused were granted alternative measures and placed under house arrest with the prohibition to leave the country; they should report every other week to the Court, and will not communicate with other officials of the municipality of Quetzaltenango. Former mayor Jorge Barrientos and other five accused received fines of Q1 million; all other received a penalty of Q75 thousand.

Lack of Admissible Evidence

  • Rossana Schoenfeld Gramajo de Barrientos.
  • Vivian Carolina Jacobs Rodríguez.
  • Carmen Maria Barrientos Salguero.
  • Ana Gabriela Barrientos Salguero.
  • René Arturo Morales Rosal.

The Court ordered the immediate release of these people.

Background

A joint investigation between the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity and CICIG evidenced the existence of an organized criminal structure. This structure was made up of municipal officials (mayor and city council members and staff of the Planning Office), entrepreneurs and other individuals that planned and executed at least 122 fraudulent municipal contracts in exchange for large sums of money, which in some cases were 40 percent of the contract value.

In 2004, Jorge Rolando Barrientos Pellecer won the election as mayor of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango and was reelected for the periods 2008-2012 and 2012-2016. For this corruption network, Mr. Barrientos Pellecer colluded with council members and other people, who belonged to their closest circle. They were publicly known as the “mayor’s friends.”

print