Guatemalan ruling-party lawmaker Julio Antonio Juarez Ramirez has been arrested in connection with the assassination of two journalists in March 2015, the Public Ministry has confirmed.
The official was arrested in his home in Suchitepequez department Saturday morning on a warrant sought by prosecutors and a UN anti-corruption commission.
Juarez is suspected of murder, attempted murder and criminal association for allegedly hiring hit men to kill journalist Danilo Efrain Lopez, fearing that the reporter's coverage would hurt Juarez's electoral campaign.
A second journalist, Federico Benjamin Salazar, also died in the March 10, 2015, shooting, and a third man, Marvin Tunchez Ayala, was wounded, The Star reports.
Juarez, a member of President Jimmy Morales' National Convergence Front party, denies the allegations.
In November, the Supreme Court lifted his immunity from prosecution that comes with elected office and Juarez was immediately banned from leaving the country. That same month, Morales praised Juarez's work and asked for a round of applause in recognition.
Handcuffed and wearing a pink dress shirt, a lavender tie and khakis, he was escorted by heavily armed police to a courtroom in Guatemala city later in the day.
Last month, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Juarez under the Global Magnitsky Act, which targets human rights abusers and corrupt officials. He was added to a blacklist for human-rights abuses and corruption.
In October, a Guatemalan court sentenced to 30 years in prison a man convicted of driving a motorcycle used in the attack. Eduardo Ariel Mazariegos Ramirez, the alleged triggerman also said to have been riding on the motorcycle, remains at large.