Ex-Guatemala prosecutor granted asylum in U.S.

Ex-Guatemala prosecutor granted asylum in U.S.
FILE - In this March 10, 2019 file photo, Thelma Aldana, Guatemala's former chief prosecutor, listens to a journalist's question as she gives a press conference during her campaign event for president, in Guatemala City. The United States has granted political asylum to Aldana on Monday, Feb. 23, 2020, after she was subject to death threats and political persecution. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros, File)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala’s former chief prosecutor said Monday she has been granted asylum in the United States, in the face of charges filed in her home country that she claims are retaliation for her anti-corruption campaign.

Thelma Aldana made the announcement in a telephone interview from New York. She has been living in the United States for almost a year, after a Guatemalan court refused to allow her candidacy in the 2019 presidential election.

“This a great message,” Aldana said. “If you act correctly, you will get support.”

A Guatemalan court had issued a warrant for Aldana over alleged embezzlement, but did not give details. Guatemalan prosecutors had reportedly been starting the process to request she be extradited.

Aldana was formally registered as a candidate for last June’s election, which by law provided her immunity from prosecution.

As chief prosecutor, Aldana pressed a number of high-profile corruption investigations including ones against current President Jimmy Morales and some of his relatives and associates.

Aldana had already made a name for herself by jailing former President Otto Pérez Molina, his vice president and Cabinet members, perhaps the most high-profile of dozens of probes.