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Newly indicted Guatemalan soccer official arrested in Florida

Photo credit: AFP.

Photo credit: AFP.

A top official in Guatemala’s Football Federation, Hector Trujillo, was arrested in the United States on Friday after being indicted in a massive corruption scandal rocking the sport’s world body FIFA, a top Guatemalan judge said.

Trujillo was apprehended in Florida, where he had been on a family vacation, the head of Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, Gloria Porras, told reporters. She said the information was confirmed by the US embassy.

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In addition to his work as the secretary general of the national soccer federation, Trujillo is an alternate judge in the Constitutional Court, Guatemala’s highest tribunal.

“This is an event that impacts the Constitutional Court because of the serious accusations made against a judge, and this impacts all the people of Guatemala,” Porras said.

On Thursday, the US Justice Department announced 16 indictments against present and past soccer officials around the world. They are suspected of taking bribes to attribute marketing rights for major FIFA fixtures, in the process violating US laws on wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. The focus of probe is on Latin American officials or ex-officials.

Among the other indictees is the president of Guatemala’s football federation, Brayan Jimenez, who was also on the FIFA committee for fair play and social responsibility. There is also Rafael Salguero, a former FIFA executive committee member.

Hours before Trujillo’s arrest, Jimenez stepped down from his FIFA responsibilities and said he was available to cooperate with “whatever investigation that might take place at a local or international level.”

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