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Yearbook 2017

Panama. During the year, President Juan Carlos Varela became increasingly involved in the investigations of the corruption scandal surrounding the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. According to, it began in February when one of the defendants in this case about the so-called Panama Documents claimed that Varela received illegal campaign funding during the 2009 election campaign. it would have been bribery.

2017 Panama

Also Varela's representative, President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-14), was included in the tours around Odebrecht with charges of bribery of more than $ 59 million to decision makers to secure contracts for infrastructure projects around the country. In August, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the investigation against Martinelli should be closed, which caused great upset, and Prosecutor Kenia Porcell, who energetically dedicated to combating bribery, declared that the Prosecutor's Office received threats from the country's most important economic players in connection with the corruption investigation. Martinelli himself, who lives in exile in the US, was arrested by US police in June and requested to be extradited to Panama.

Not least, the expansion of the Panama Canal became the focus of the corruption investigations, as the colossal construction was undertaken by a number of private companies. Ironically, the head of the country's anti-corruption agency demanded, already the day after the one-year anniversary of the new channel's inauguration, that two members of the channel authority should resign, and the prosecutor initiated a preliminary investigation against them. However, the new channel proved to have lived up to expectations: boat traffic increased by 22% in the first year and part of the country's large GDP increase during the first four months, over 6%, could be linked to the channel.

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