Guatemala

Earlier in his career, Robert Amsterdam was engaged by the GutiƩrrez-Strauss family of Guatemala, the original founders of the Pollo Campero restaurant chain, to represent them in a wide-ranging dispute against other family members who had been accused of conspiring to defraud shareholders.

Working in an unconventional legal environment where elements of “state capture” by the opponents had allegedly corrupted the judiciary and media and enjoyed seemingly unlimited impunity, Amsterdam designed and implemented an aggressive multinational campaign to bring pressure against the defendants and expose their illegal dealings.

According to admissions caught on video as reported in El Nuevo Heraldo, companies belonging to Juan Luis Bosch and Dionisio GutiĆ©rrez – two of Guatemala’s most wealthy and powerful men – had engaged in a vast conspiracy of tax fraud and money laundering to hide their revenue from the state (as well as other shareholders).

The matter is a case of historic significance which has extended far beyond the courts into Guatemalan politics and society, and stands out as a key case study in how impunity, parallel powers, and the corruption of state capture work in concert in many developing nations.

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