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Guatemala

Guatemalan authorities arrested 17 people, including the head of the Guatemalan Central bank, on Wednesday in an ongoing investigation into fraud at the Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social (IGSS—Guatemalan Institute of Social Security) that resulted in the deaths of at least five kidney failure patients.

Guatemala’s Ministers of Interior, Energy and Mining, Environment, and the Secretary of Intelligence resigned on Thursday, amid a series of corruption scandals.

Judge Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre was sworn in as Guatemala’s new vice president on May 15 after his predecessor, Roxana Baldetti, was forced to step down in the wake of a major corruption scandal.

This week’s likely news stories: Guatemalan protestors call for the president’s resignation; Costa Rican vice president announces LGBT anti-discrimination decree; Chinese premier tours South America on investment venture; Guyana opposition party triumphs in presidential election; Honduran government brings Bitcoin technology to land registry.

On May 8, Guatemalan authorities arrested three lawyers representing defendants in a massive customs tax fraud case known as Caso SAT that has thrown the current administration into a state of disarray.

Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti resigned last Friday, ending a tumultuous three weeks of protests after an investigation raised questions about her possible involvement in a high-profile corruption scandal known as Caso SAT.

This week’s likely news stories: Raúl Castro has an audience with the Pope; Michelle Bachelet shakes up her Cabinet; Colombia bans coca spraying; a Guatemalan judge is linked to a corruption scandal; Germany will invest in Central American geothermal projects.

In Guatemala, a political system that has, for decades, served to illegally enrich corrupt officials now stands at a crossroads, with the opportunity for legitimate change reinforced by an election in four months.

This week’s likely top stories: U.S.-Colombia Fifth Annual Bilateral Meeting; Protesters denounce corruption in Guatemala; Primaries for local elections held in Buenos Aires; S&P downgrades Puerto Rico; and Texas trade delegation visits Havana.

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