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Guatemala's president quits, faces charges in graft scandal

3:02am IST - 01:23

Guatemalan President Otto Perez has resigned from office days before a presidential election to face charges in a corruption scandal. Nathan Frandino reports.

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The sound of victory ... heard loud and clear in Guatemala. Thousands of protesters have flooded the streets in recent weeks and on Thursday, they got what they wanted... the resignation of President Otto Perez. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIA AGUILAR, RESIDENT CELEBRATING OTTO PEREZ RESIGNATION SAYING: "This is a first step, a profound structural change that the country needs. There is still a long way to go but this is the first step." Perez resigned in the early morning and turned himself in to face charges in a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into chaos. He's accused of being involved in a customs scam... known as "La Linea". The name refers to a phone line used by importers to avoid paying customs duties in exchange for bribes. His resignation comes days before presidential and congressional elections. Residents say it's about time he resigned. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OCTAVIO LUNA RESIDENT SAYING: "Well, I think it is good that he resigned because it was just. It is just that he resigned because it was too much, what he was doing." Perez was just the latest of more than 20 officials to have been arrested by now over the scam, though just how much money was involved remains unclear.

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Guatemala's president quits, faces charges in graft scandal

3:02am IST - 01:23