President Alvaro Colom has fired his interior minister for alleged corruption and replaced him with a former journalist. Colom says he found irregularities in a contract signed by Interior Minister Raul Velasquez to buy fuel for Guatemala’s national police. Colom announced he was firing Velasquez in a televised message to the nation Feb. 28. Local media say that Velasquez authorized a USD6.2 million contract with a private company to buy fuel for police but that the company embezzled the money. Colom replaced Velasquez with Carlos Menocal, a former journalist who was a presidential commissioner responsible for combating organized crime and corruption. (AP)

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