Ex-Guatemalan interior minister detained in Spain: report

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Spanish police on Wednesday detained a former Guatemalan interior minister, who is accused of involvement in the murder of prison inmates and other crimes, the online edition of daily newspaper El Pais reported.

Contacted by AFP, a police spokesman confirmed that a former Guatemalan cabinet minister had been arrested in Spain but refused to provide a name or other details. He said a statement would be issued later.

El Pais identified the politician as Carlos Vielman.

In August the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which was created by the United Nations in 2008, ordered Vielman's arrest for his alleged involvement in a group that carried out "summary executions" of several inmates during a prison riot in Guatemala in 2006.

"This structure, among its criminal activities, carried out murders, drug trafficking, money laundering, kidnappings, extortions and the theft of narcotics from other criminal organizations," the commission said in a statement at the time.

It also ordered the arrest of former presidential candidate Alejandro Giammattei, who was the head of Guatemala's prison system at the time, as well as former police chief Erwin Sperisen and former head of investigations Javier Figueroa.

Giammattei placed third in the 2007 presidential election in Guatemala, a former Spanish colony in Central America.

© 2010 AFP

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