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Alfonso Portillo: Extradition Of Guatemala Ex-President To U.S. Welcomed By Obama Administration

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GUATEMALA CITY -- U.S. officials are praising Guatemala's decision to allow the extradition of former president Alfonso Portillo, who faces U.S. charges of laundering allegedly embezzled foreign donations.

Guatemala's highest court says Portillo can be extradited, but can't be sent to a U.S. facility for violent offenders.

In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala says the decision reflects the progress that Guatemala's government is making against impunity.

In 2011, a Guatemalan court found Portillo not guilty of charges that he stole $15 million from the country's Defense Department when he governed the country from 2000 to 2004.

Portillo is charged in a New York federal court with money laundering and embezzling $1.5 million donated by Taiwan to buy schoolbooks for Guatemalan children.

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