US Sanctions Miguel Martínez with Magintsky Act

Photo of author

By Marco Echevarria

The United States announced that the former director of the Center of Government, Miguel Martínez, was sanctioned with the Global Magnitsky Law and points to it as bribes in government contracts.

The former director of the Center for the Government, Miguel Martínez, was sanctioned with the Global Magnitsky Law on Human Rights Responsibility, as announced by the U.S. Treasury Department on December 1.

According to the press release, Martínez is sanctioned for his role in corruption in Guatemala, where he participated in widespread bribery schemes, including schemes related to government contracts.

The statement also quotes the Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the Treasury, Brian E. Nelson says: Martinez sought to take advantage of his privileged position for personal benefit at the expense of the Guatemalan people.

Among the remarks against Miguel Martínez is he has received large bribes for facilitating the purchase of Russian vaccines Sputnik V. In addition, the U.S. claims that it was constrovered with other Guatemalan government officials to illegally award contracts.

Martinez was in charge of the Government Centre, an entity created on January 28, 2020, that is, in the first weeks of Alejandro Giammattei’s government, and which had representation in each of the state ministries.

The closure of that entity was announced on December 4, 2020 by the President, amid strong criticism of his management during the citizen demonstrations that took place in November of that same year. The closure took place on 31 December and official on 18 January 2021.

Since then he has not held any public office, but he did maintain the leadership in the Vamos party, which led Giammattei to the presidency, and continued with a close relationship with the government.

The Magnistky Act applies to those connected by the U.S. authorities. The United States on human rights violations, acts of corruption, money laundering and drug trafficking.

The implications of being sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act amount to a financial death, according to analysts.

The penalty includes that no U.S. entity, including banks or credit card issuing companies, can do business with sanctioned individuals or their companies.

Likewise, American financial institutions cannot relate to others that have links to those sanctioned. In Guatemala, virtually all banks and financial institutions have flows of transactions with their peers in the US. U.S.

As a result of this sanction, Martinez loses control of all the properties and interests he has in the United States and no citizen of that country can do business with him.

Following the sanction of Miguel Martínez, different U.S. officials have spoken out.

For example, the Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, United States Department of State, Brian A. Nichols said on his digital platforms that this action constitutes a firm and continuous commitment to hold accountable those who try to subvert the will of the Guatemalan people.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared on Prensa Libre