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  HOME | Central America

Jailed Former President Hospitalized in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY A jailed former president of Guatemala who faces money-laundering charges in the United States was taken to a military hospital Saturday due to health problems, officials said.

An army spokesman told reporters that Alfonso Portillo, who was surprisingly moved Friday night from a maximum-security prison to a pre-trial detention facility, is currently under observation at the Military Medical Center.

According to one of his attorneys, Telesforo Guerra, Portillo suffers from bronchitis due to the low temperatures at the maximum-security prison southeast of the capital where he had been held for five days.

Portillo was arrested Jan. 22 on a Guatemalan beach at the request of the United States, which is seeking his extradition for money laundering.

According to U.S. authorities, who have 40 days to present evidence is support of the extradition request, the former president laundered some $70 million through bank accounts in the United States.

Portillo, who governed Guatemala from 2000-2004, was extradited from Mexico in October 2008 to face embezzlement charges in his homeland but had been released after posting $120,000 bond.
 

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