Oxfam International Chairman Fuentes Knight arrested
| Updated Feb 13, 2018 at 3:49pm
Oxfam International Chairman Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight was arrested on Tuesday (Feb. 13) amid a local corruption probe, according to Guatemala's Attorney General's Office.
Fuentes Knight — a former minister of finance of Guatemala — and former President Alvaro Colom are two of 10 people detained as part of a public transport graft probe.
The investigation involves bus purchases made during Colom's administration, said chief anti-corruption officer at the public prosecutor’s office Juan Francisco Sandoval.
Back in 2009, then-President Alvaro Colom announced the purchase of new buses. As part of the deal, a partnership with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development of Brazil was established to buy 3,150 buses. However, only 455 arrived in Guatemala, said Attorney General Thelma Aldana.
Under Fuentes Knight, the ministry of finance invested almost €30 million as subsidies for the buses.
Auditors later found there was no formal oversight of the subsidies given by the Colom administration.
“The pay of the subsidies was handled with a series of daily reports that did not get any administrative control,” said the auditors to Prensa Libre.
Fuentes Knight was appointed chairman of Oxfam International in 2015.
In a statement at the time, the NGO said the appointment "coincides with a time of institutional change within Oxfam as it reorganizes its confederation to become a more global, stream-lined and influential one."
“I am excited by the chance to help shape Oxfam’s changes as it seeks to become an even more innovative force around the world, especially in using its knowledge with partners and allies to make a greater impact on global development issues. These changes will further the organization’s core goals that remain to reduce poverty and inequality, and help people to seize the opportunities of making better lives," Fuentes Knight said in 2015.