Oxfam International chairman arrested on graft charges in Guatemala

Oxfam International chairman Juan Alberto Fuentes (C). Image credit: BBC.com

–TMC Desk

Guatemala City, Feb 14: Juan Alberto Fuentes, Chairman of the charity Oxfam International, was arrested in Central American country of Guatemala, media reported on Tuesday.

He was detained as part of an investigation into a corruption scandal dating back to his time as Guatemala’s Finance Minister, BBC reported.

According to the report, his arrest is not related to his role at Oxfam but it will mount further pressure on the charity, which was reeling from revelations that its staff hired prostitutes in Haiti.

Oxfam International’s Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said that Fuentes had been “entirely open with his Oxfam board”.

“He has assured us that he has co-operated fully with the investigation in the confidence he did not knowingly transgress rules or procedures,” Byanyima was quoted as saying.

The Haiti and Chad sex scandals involving aid workers from the British charity claimed its first high-profile casualty on Monday when the charity’s deputy CEO resigned.

“As Programme Director at the time Oxfam workers were in Chad and later in Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, I take full responsibility,” said Penny Lawrence, reported Xinhua.

“I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility,” she added.

Lawrence issued her statement as Oxfam executives were responding to a demand for full information from the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID) which has threatened to cancel its multi-million dollar funding package.


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