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News > Guatemala

The Marinelli Bros Try To Escape From a Guatemalan Prison

  • Ricardo Martinelli and Luis Martinelli, Guatemala, 2020.

    Ricardo Martinelli and Luis Martinelli, Guatemala, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @noticiaenpunto

Published 2 July 2021

The sons of Panama's ex-president Ricardo Martinelli tried to avoid their extradition to the United States where they are awaiting trial for money laundering.

Guatemala's Interior Ministry (MINGOB) prevented the escape of Luis and Ricardo Martinelli from Mariscal Zavala prison on Thursday. Currently, the sons of Panama's ex-president Ricardo Martinelli are imprisoned in Guatemala City awaiting extradition to the United States.


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On Wednesday, MINGOB identified the escape risk through its intelligence systems. The alert led to a search at the detention center, where cell phones, knives, and liquors were seized. National Civil Police and Defense Ministry also reinforced prison guards.

The MINGOB Spokesperson Pablo Castillo assured that the Martinelli brothers are now isolated and under strict security measures.

This Ministry filed a complaint against Mariscal Zavala prison director to clarify the illegal procedures encountered at this detention center, where spouses and children lived together with prisoners.

The meme says: “Guatemala’s government confirms that it received a U.S. alert about the Martinelli brothers' attempted escape”.

The Martinelli brothers were imprisoned in Guatemala on July 6, 2020, when they tried to return to Panama on a private flight after they spent almost a year in unknown whereabouts.

The New York District Attorney requires their extradition for money laundering and information concealment in a corruption case linked to the Brazilian company Odebrecht.

Besides facing charges for this case, former President Martinelli is accused of carrying out illegal wiretaps on about 150 people during his government. For this reason, he was extradited from the U.S. to Panama in June 2018.

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