By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - A former Guatemalan economy minister was on the run again after hiding out for 24 hours in the home of Colombia’s ambassador to the country, authorities said Thursday.

Acisclo Valladares Urruela, who left office and thus lost his immunity last week at the conclusion of President Jimmy Morales’ term, had appeared in court and promised to stay put to respond to corruption accusations.

But when the court issued an arrest warrant and police went to detain him, Valladares had disappeared.

Juan Francisco Sandoval, head of the special prosecutor’s office against impunity, said Colombia Amb. Juan Hurtado Cano confirmed to him that Valladares had been in his home.

Hurtado said Thursday that Valladares had been there, but left Wednesday after his request for political asylum was denied by the Colombian government. He said that he told Guatemalan authorities they were welcome to search his residence to assure that Valladares was not there.

Prosecutors accuse Valladares of providing money to bribe lawmakers to pass legislation while he was legal counsel for the telecommunications company TIGO.

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