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Guatemala arrests former anti-corruption prosecutor

FILE - Stuardo Campo, Guatemala's prosecutor for crimes against migrants, takes part in a raid against alleged migrant smugglers near the Mexican border in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Aug. 2, 2022. Guatemalan police arrested Campo Friday, May 26, 2023,accusing him of alleged abuse of authority. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan police arrested the country’s prosecutor for crimes against migrants Friday, accusing him of alleged abuse of authority.

Stuardo Campos was formerly an anti-corruption prosecutor in the country during the administration of former President Jimmy Morales. It was not immediately clear whether the accusations pertain to his current position or the former.

The complaint against Campos was made by the far-right Foundation Against Terrorism, a group that started out defending military officers accused of war crimes, but has also targeted members of the justice system who worked corruption cases.

“This complaint is spurious,” Campos said. “I know that my work as an anti-corruption prosecutor earned me animosity in a lot of sectors.”

Campos was known for an investigation related to a government highway project during the Morales administration. A number of officials from that administration were arrested when repeated landslides and other problems were blamed on poor construction.

In recent years, a number of prosecutors and judges who handled anti-corruption cases have been investigated and charged. Many of them have fled the country to avoid prosecution by an Attorney General’s office the United States government and others have accused seeking revenge against members of the justice system.

More recently, as the lead prosecutor of migrant crimes, Campos was credited with dismantling migrant smuggling rings and oversaw the first extradition of Guatemalans to the U.S. accused of migrant smuggling.