Guatemala City: A Guatemalan court has issued an arrest warrant for former president Alfonso Portillo, who is being investigated for corruption and whose extradition has been requested by the US so that he can be brought to trial there for money laundering, judicial officials said.
The arrest warrant for Portillo, who was extradited from Mexico in 2008, was issued by a criminal court judge.
Representatives of the UN-sponsored Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known as Cicig, police and prosecutors on Sunday raided two homes looking for Portillo, but their efforts did not bear fruit.
The US government two weeks ago requested that Guatemala extradite Portillo for money laundering, but the request had not been made public until now, judicial officials said.
The government ministry confirmed that the search for the former leader with an eye toward taking him into custody was directly connected to the US extradition request.
A residence of the former president in the eastern province of Zacapa, where he was born, was surrounded on Saturday night by law enforcement agents, who entered it Sunday to capture Portillo, who served as Guatemala`s president from 2000 to 2004, officials told EFE.
Portillo was sought at another of his homes in a residential part of the Guatemalan capital.
The former president, however, was not found at either of the two locations.
Cicig, led by a Spanish jurist, is a UN agency that has been working with the Guatemalan government since 2007 to combat groups that work from within the state.