Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, April 12, 2015

ATTENDEES AT SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT PANANA'S MONEY LAUNDERING AND CORRUPTION



If you read the mainstream media about the issues that delegates at the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama are talking about, you think that the concerns involve Cuban/American relations, the lack of human rights in Venezuela, and other international topics. However, there are other issues that have not appeared, but are still on the minds of the attendees.

Those issues involve the republic of Panama, and many of them were voiced this weekend among the delegates. Here are the questions many have been asking:

(1) How will Panama deal with its money laundering problems ? The new "reform" government has been in office for not quite 10 months, but has made absolutely no progress in this matter. Remember, Panama is not only on the so-called FATF Grey List, of noncooperative jurisdictions, but is in danger of being placed onto the actual Black List, unless it gets its house in order. There has been not one  money laundering charge laid at the door of the country's dirty banks, since the new government took over last Summer. The delegates are asking why ?

(2) Corruption among government officials, though the subject of multiple pending criminal investigations, and criminal charges brought in 2015, remains a sore spot. Why have not more of those known to have accepted bribes and kickbacks been terminated with extreme prejudice ?

(3) The judiciary, most of whom can be bought, still remain in office, though much of the Supreme Court of Justice have been turned out. Trial judges remain in office, notwithstanding their known propensity for taking money to fix cases. Many of the delegates consider Panama to have the most corrupt judicial system in all of Latin America, which speaks volumes about the amount of corrupt activities.

(4) Accountability of the former Martinelli government, including its fugitive leader. Why isn't ex-President Ricardo Martinelli, as well as his former ministers, in custody, and awaiting trial ? Will their massive theft of Panama's money go unpunished ?

As you can see, the delegates have much more on their mind than photo opportunities; they want to know when Panama will clean up its act.


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