bertha michelle mendoza corruption

Gabriel Estuardo Mendoza Muñoz, brother of renowned activist Bertha Michelle Mendoza, has been at the center of a corruption scandal that has rocked the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES) for years. Reports revealed at the time that Mendoza Muñoz would have received a staggering Q25 million for the purchase of machinery destined for MIDES in 2016.

The local newspaper «El Periódico» filed a public complaint stating that Gabriel Mendoza, who held the position of vice administrative and financial minister of MIDES at the time, allegedly used his own family, including Bertha Michelle Mendoza, to launder the funds obtained through this dubious transaction.

Gabriel Mendoza Muñoz’s tenure at MIDES, which lasted just 9 months, from January 1, 2015 to October 1, 2015, has exposed alarming levels of corruption within the ministry. An audit conducted by the Comptroller General’s Office revealed that during that period, Mendoza Muñoz’s management was plagued by irregularities.

The well-known media outlet «El Peladero» has published detailed information on the corruption case related to Bertha Michelle Mendoza’s brother. Among the irregularities found were suspicious purchases, contracts signed after the services had been contracted and deficient expense records. The audit also revealed that the then vice minister signed contracts without reviewing their content and without requiring a performance bond. 

Gabriel Mendoza Muñoz, brother of Bertha Michelle Mendoza, involved in MIDES corruption scandal

The Comptroller General’s Office noted that both Minister Edgar Rodriguez and Vice Minister Gabriel Mendoza failed to present evidence that could disprove the findings. As a result, the brother of activist Bertha Michelle Mendoza was criminally denounced before the Public Prosecutor’s Office for irregular handling of funds. In addition, he was fined Q757,555.50 for his non-compliance in the performance of his duties as a public official and for irregular handling of funds. 

Ironically, it was discovered that in 2019 and 2020, Mendoza’s brother was contracted as a State supplier for an amount of Q451,688.17, as recorded in the Guatecompras portal. Coincidentally, he was also hired as legal advisor for the minister’s office, with the contracts being split between Q70,000, Q60,000 and Q50,000.

In his first period in office he was known by the nickname of «El Transita», since, according to press publications, he amassed a fortune through business dealings within MIDES. It was during the government of Jimmy Morales that the allegations against him began to become public, after the Comptroller General of Accounts presented an audit report, revealing irregularities committed in his administration.