Yesterday, the US State Department approved Panama’s request for the extradition of their former President Ricardo Martinelli. Mr Martinelli has been held in a Miami jail since last year after Panama requested his extradition to face charges of spying. Panama alleges that Mr Martinelli used public money to spy on more than 150 of his political rivals between 2009 and 2014. Mr Martinelli has maintained that he is not guilty, has expressed belief that the US will protect him whilst he helps the US authorities investigate cross-border crimes and has claimed that current President of Panama, Mr Juan Carlos Varela is attacking his reputation on political grounds.
Panama is preparing to extradite former Mexican governor of Quintana Roo Roberto Borge to Mexico, after it approved a request for his extradition on 15 December. Mexico accuses Mr Borge of corruption, money laundering, and fraud, including the sale of state-owned land at a fraction of its value. Mr Borge was arrested on 4 June 2017, and has since unsuccessfully taken a challenge against his extradition to Panama’s Supreme Court.
Panama has approved the extradition of Roberto Borge to Mexico, where he was formerly governor of the state Quintana Roo and is accused of several offences including corruption and involvement in organised crime. Among other things, he is said to have sold state-owned properties at 1% of their value.
Mr Borge was first arrested in June when he tried to board a flight from Panama to Paris, and lost his final appeal against extradition in Panama’s Supreme Court on 11 December.