The president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, resigned Wednesday night, after the attorney general’s office presented a warrant for his arrest for his role in the so-called “La Linea” corruption case.
Below is how events, which ended in his resignation, unfolded.
April 23: Perez Molina extends the mandate of CICIG, the international U.N.-backed anti-impunity body in Guatemala, some say under duress from the United States. CICIG has already made extensive investigations into several government corruption scandals.
April 25: The indigenous lawmaker of the Winaq Movement of Guatemala, Amilcar Pop, reports President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti to the attorney general’s office for having committed eight alleged crimes including criminal association and illicit gains.
(L-R) Roxana Baldetti, Otto Perez Molina and Juan Carlos Monzon, Baldetti’s private secretary who is though to be the ringleader of La Linea.
May 8: Operations of the fraudulent “La Linea” network come to light after the resignation of Roxana Baldetti, two days after the attorney general’s office and CICIG accused her former private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzon, of being the leader of the group. The same day, Baldetti steps down from her post in middle of two mass demonstrations demanding the departure of the president and the replacement of the cabinet.
May 9: With 149 votes in favor, 0 against and 9 absences, Congress accepts the resignation of Baldetti.
June 3: Secretary of the Presidency, Gustavo Martinez, resigns, amid allegations linking him to La Linea.
June 4: CICIG reveals more detail about La Linea’s structure.
June 18: The head of the congressional commission investigating President Otto Perez Molina for corruption charges, Baudilio Hichos, resigned, after allegations of conspiracy and fraud were leveled against the lawmaker by CICIG around a third corruption scandal involving the social security institute.
June 22: Guatemalan authorities begin an investigation against Baldetti for the corruption scandal and siezed eight properties of her husband Mariano Paz.
June 23: Another scandal is revealed by Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre – a major part of the salaries of private security guards contracted by Congress were never received by the workers and instead were funneled into the pockets of one of President Perez Molina's lawmakers.
July 10: Gustavo Martinez and other high-level ministers are detained or accused for links to La Linea.
Aug. 22: Finance Minister Sergio de la Torre, Education Minister Cynthia Del Aguila, and Competitions Commissioner Juan Carlos Paiz hand in their resignation, claiming that “they didn't know that there was a contraband network,” in reference to the fraud case.
Aug. 23: As anti-government protests snowball in size, Perez Molina leaves the public stage and is not seen for over 24 hours. #NoApareceOtto (Otto does not appear) trends on Twitter.
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Aug. 24: Another seven officials from the Guatemalan government resign, this time those in the roles of communications, Victor Corado, finances, Dorval Carias, and Planning Secretary Ekaterina Arbolievna Parrilla. Another two vice ministers of communication and a vice minister of public finances also step down. The protest of the Guatemalan people gains more traction on social media, especially on Twitter where the hashtag #YoNoTengoPresident (I don’t have a president) becomes a top trend.
Aug. 25: The attorney general’s office reveals an audio-recording linking Perez Molina directly with “La Linea.” In the conversation, the Guatemalan president is heard ordering Muñoz to change the chief of Human of Resources of the SAT and asks him for explanations as to why the change was delayed. According to the attorney general, this is the key post to maintain control of the four important customs officers in the country.
Aug. 26: Baldetti is sent to a communal prison called Santa Teresa, in Guatemala City, after a judge rejects an application for house arrest and orders her to be moved to the female penitentiary center.
Aug. 27: Thousands of Guatemalans begin a national strike in the capital and in the key regions, to demand once again the resignation of Perez Molina. The Attorney General’s office recommends that the president step down. Guatemalan Congress draw lots to form an investigative commission. The investigative commission recommends revoking the impunity of the president.
Aug. 31: Perez Molina’s defense team presents a new application for protection before the Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, during a press conference called over the denunciations, Perez Molina says that the phonecall used as proof of his participation in “The Line” case was taken out of context. He insists that he will not step down from his post.
Sept. 1: Guatemalan Congress decides to withdraw immunity from the former president on considering that sufficient evidence exists to begin judicial proceedings, for which the former vice president Roxana Baldetti was detained.
Sept. 2: The attorney general broadcasts a warrant for the capture of Perez Molina.
Sept. 3: In the early hours of Thursday it is confirmed that Otto Perez Molina has handed in his letter of resignation.