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 Countryaah.com, 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.
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.
Three eras of Panama City
If the channel comes to mind first when talking about Panama, it is worth watching more. Three different eras of Panama City tell the tourist about the region’s past. Old Panama was founded by the Spaniards in 1519 to ship gold to the mainland and also to unload cargo from there. Only the ruins of the prosperous city remain, as pirate Henry Morgan took the gold with him and destroyed the city.
After this, people were better equipped and a fortress was built in Casco Viejo against attacks from the sea. It was sheltered by a colonial-style district, to which French canal builders later brought their own architectural addition. Part of Casco Viejo was badly bombed in 1989 when the United States ousted President Noriega with armed intervention after he was caught engaging in international drug trafficking. Now this idyllic, refurbished fort is part of modern Panama City, with its dozens of skyscrapers, bank headquarters and shopping malls reminiscent of any major city of millions.