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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

U.S. Citizen Arrested in Guatemala for Smuggling Ancient Mayan Artifacts

The American Stephanie Allison Jolluck was arrested this Friday at the airport in the Guatemalan capital when she was trying to return to her country with two Mayan pieces of pre-Hispanic origin, said the prosecutor’s office.

The spokesman of the entity, Moisés Ortiz, said to journalists that the North American “now will have to face penal process for the crime of traffic of national treasures”, without specifying of which pre-Hispanic period the seized pieces are from.

Jolluck had the cultural objects hidden in her suitcases when she was trying to leave the country for the United States on a flight at La Aurora International Airport, in the southern outskirts of Guatemala City.

According to photographs of the body in charge of the criminal prosecution, the pieces are two carved stones with several figures.

The official indicated that the Pluripersonal Court of First Criminal Instance opened a criminal proceeding against Jolluck, but granted him alternative measures so that he would not go to prison, the prohibition to leave the country and to approach places where archaeological objects are sold.

In addition, he will have to present himself every 15 days to the Prosecutor’s Office to sign a book to establish that he is still in the Central American country.

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP, Fiscalía) has a 3-month investigation period to present the evidence against the American.

The Mayan culture had its greatest splendor in the so-called classic period (250-900 A.D.), until it went into decline in the post-classic period (900-1200 A.D.) and covered the Mesoamerican area comprising southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize.

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