The United States extradition order weighing on the Martinelli brothers

photo VD: Ligia Toledo.
By Maria T. Morales

About the brothers Luis Enrique and Ricardo Martinelli Linares, an extradition order from the United States weighs, signed just three days ago

The Guatemalan National Civil Police, reported today, the capture of two sons of the former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, at La Aurora International Airport, in the center of the capital.

The detainees, identified as the brothers, Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, of 38 year old, and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli linares, of 40, both of them, of Italian-Panamanian nationality, are required through a provisional arrest warrant for extradition purposes.

Said order, according to the official report released through the Guatemalan Police website, was extended on 3 July of the current year "as they are accused of the crime of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, involving a specific activity according to the United States code ”.

According to the official report, Counter-narcotics police captured the alleged suspects, at a time when they were preparing to board a humanitarian flight to Panama City.

“The captures occur as a result of an investigation process carried out by the police., from the past 30 of June, by means of which classified information was obtained that this day, they wanted to leave the country ", According to the official report, signed by the journalist Wendy Álvarez.

The case is related to the Odebrecht scandal., from which they would have received a bribe for a quantity of 55.8 million dollars in exchange for expediting payments for contracts signed with said company.

The operators of said company, based in Brazil, are accused of bribing presidents, ex-presidents and former officials from a dozen countries, in order to get contracts or other benefits from these governments.

The arrests, according to the report, were carried out thanks to the support of the Transnational Anti-Gang Center, responsible for crossing or sharing information with Central American police and international agencies such as Interpol and FBI, among others.

The case is an investigation by the United States Department of Justice., so the Guatemalan court, will process the extradition request.

At the end of December 2016, the US Department of Justice published an investigation in which it determined that said company spent, at least, 788 million dollars in bribes to rulers and officials of some 12 countries.