The heads of the central bank and of the IGSS health-insurance agency were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of corruption, the Guatemalan Attorney General's Office said.
Banco de Guatemala president Julio Roberto Suarez and IGSS chief Juan de Dios Rodriguez are among 16 people detained so far in connection with the case, according to the U.N.-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known as CICIG.
The investigation centers on the IGSS' awarding of a contract worth 116 million quetzales ($15.18 million) for dialysis services, CICIG spokesman Diego Alvarez told Efe.
Suarez, in addition to running the central bank, is the deputy chair of the IGSS board of directors, whose members are accused of fraud in connection with the selection of pharmaceutical firm Pisa to administer the dialysis program.
After winning the contract last December, Pisa found itself overwhelmed by the number of kidney patients needing dialysis and began subcontracting part of the work to a private sanitarium.
In February, the Citizens Action organization accused Pisa of failing to take care of its patients.
Those arrested Wednesday include former IGSS deputy finance manager Otto Molina Stalling, son of Supreme Court Justice Blanca Stalling, herself implicated in another corruption scandal that prompted the May 8 resignation of Vice President Roxana Baldetti.
The arrests on Wednesday coincided with yet another large demonstration in Guatemala City to demand the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina.