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AFP
February 26, 2020

Guatemala ex-prosecutor gets US asylum

World

AFP
February 26, 2020

GUATEMALA CITY: The United States on Monday granted political asylum to Guatemala´s former anti-corruption prosecutor Thelma Aldana, who fled to the US last year after a warrant was issued for her arrest over graft.

Aldana was accused in March 2019 of the irregular purchase of a building for the public prosecutor and the creation of fake jobs during her 2014-18 tenure. She denied the accusations and claims they were aimed at punishing her for fighting graft in the Central American country.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Aldana´s asylum on Twitter. "Thelma is a champion for justice and this is a major victory in the international fight against corruption," committee chairman Eliot Engel said.

Aldana, 64, won the Swedish Rights Livelihood Prize in 2018 for her work against corruption and abuse of power. Guatemala said last week it intended to ask the US to extradite her.

Aldana left Guatemala for El Salvador after the accusations, which also forced her to abandon a run for the presidency. She subsequently traveled to the US.

In 2017, Aldana allegedly approved the purchase of a building for around 10 percent more than its true value, according to investigators.