Carnival can be a lot of fun, but if you're the corrupt emperor or one of his affiliated empresaurios, it's more than anything else an opportunity.
So the newspapers these days are filled with stories about how various artists were supposedly contracted to perform during carnival in the city, and then things went mysteriously wrong with contracts and money. Don Omar, a Puerto Rican reggeaton singer was supposedly getting $250k for a concert, which he then denied, and he had never seen a contract, and it was all screwed up.
Then it turned out that the mysterious contract with Don Omar had never been approved or been sent through the proper channels. And then we learned today that the firm "ShowPro", which was given the deal to book and organize all these artists, is in fact owned by the son of our beloved president Ricardo Martinelli.
And of course our C̶o̶l̶o̶m̶b̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶r̶m̶s̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶f̶f̶i̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ Minister of Tourism Salomo Shamah has his fingers in that cookie jar too. And so it could happen that an angry "Mr. Fox", a Panamanian reggeaton artist, says in La Estrella today that he doesn't understand how he is listed on the PanamaCompra website as one of the artists who performed during carnival, for $3,800, while in reality he wasn't booked and didn't perform at all.
Newsroom Panama reports that legislators want to "grill" the "tourist czar" over these Carnival "shambles", but we all know that nothing of the sort is going to happen.
Instead, expect explications along the lines of what we hear from Martinelli's great idol, his role model in politics Silvio Berlusconi, who responds to a myriad of bribery cases by saying that those aren't bribes, but payments required by the local tax laws of the countries where Finmeccanica does business.