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Guatemala`s ex-president Portillo home from US jail

Guatemala`s ex-president Alfonso Portillo returned home on Wednesday after serving time in a US prison for money laundering in a graft scandal involving Taiwan.



Guatemala: Guatemala`s ex-president Alfonso Portillo returned home on Wednesday after serving time in a US prison for money laundering in a graft scandal involving Taiwan.

"I am so happy to be home in Guatemala with my daughter Gabriela, with (his ex-wife) Evelyn and my family," said Portillo, 63, who earned the dubious distinction of having been the first former Latin American president handed over to a US court.

Portillo, who arrived on a commercial flight, served his time at a federal prison in Colorado.

He had been extradited to the United States in May 2013 and a year later was convicted of laundering 2.5 million dollars in bribes from Taiwan so that Guatemala would keep recognizing Taiwan and not Beijing.

Central America is home to six of the 22 countries that recognize Taiwan`s independence from China.

Costa Rica, the seventh Central American country, also recognized Taiwan until 2007.

Since then, it has signed a 2011 free-trade agreement with China and cooperation deals worth $2 billion in 2013, equivalent to four percent of its economy.

Together, Central America and the Caribbean have a total of 20 votes in the United Nations General Assembly.

From Zee News

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