On January 17, 2024, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Alberto Pimentel Mata, Guatamala’s former Minister of Energy and Mining, for misusing his position to engage in widespread bribery in the Guatemalan mining sector. According to OFAC, Pimentel engaged in numerous corrupt schemes involving government contracts and licenses. He allegedly helped a private company in Guatemala’s energy and mining sector to obtain permits and licenses in exchange for large monthly payments. Pimentel also allegedly requested more than $1 million in bribes from mining industry groups in Guatemala in exchange for mining licenses.
The designation was imposed pursuant to Executive order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets those who engage in serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of the designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving designated persons. Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.