Raisa Banfield joins José Blandón pro-corruption ticket

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blandonbanfield [dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#e53b2c”]W[/dropcap]e aren’t really covering the campaign trail for May 2014 that much here at Bananama Republic, dear readers, mainly because it’s all a load of nauseating crock. Martinelli has his puppet José Domingo Arías running. The PRD, when they’re not fighting each other, has Juan Carlos Navarro running, which is much the same thing. And the Panameñistas, when they’re not fighting each other, have Juan Carlos Varela running, which is also much of the same thing as he has been a Martinelli accomplice for considerable time. Then there’s Juan Jované, who won’t win. And FAD, which might get some seats here and there. The result is predictable: We’ll have five more years of more or less the same.

Then there is the race for mayor of Panama City. From that front, we can report that environmental activist Raisa Banfield has joined the ticket of José Isabel Blandón, who is currently a Panameñista legislator.

Whaaat? Yes, that was our response as well. Because, based on documentary evidence – thousands of leaked emails – we reported here how Mr. Blandón, through his law firm Blandón & Young, was being paid by career criminal Monte Friesner to draft, file and move to have passed a law that would be beneficial to Friesner’s business – a business that has since been closed down by Panamanian regulators and MasterCard amid allegations of fraud and financial crimes.

Why Raisa Banfield would want to whitewash the reputation of someone as sleazy as Blandón – who is popular among middle-aged women and was the brain behind the disastrous candidacy and short-lived term of buffoon Bosco “the clown” Vallarino – is of course anyone’s guess. Maybe she is for sale too, or is she just dumb?

Okke Ornstein is an award winning journalist, TV/Radio producer and photographer from the Netherlands and currently based in Panama. Specialized in high-impact investigative journalism, his work has led to arrests, questions in parliament and the downfall of many frauds and swindles.

5 Comments

  1. jc

    January 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    At least in the capital you have documented your candidates.

    Here in the interior almost all the candidates are academically unprepared, politically unprepared, administratively zero prepared compa!

  2. Jehovanna Arcia

    January 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    It is not likely that things will ever change in Panama when we are talking about independent candidates. Our electioneering candidates tend to be very much into politicking, especially those running for those positions as the mayoralty and the deputies. You, Okke, have to understand that all the positions in the government are politically appointed, so for those individuals who are “college educated people,” it is quite difficult to try to develop their potentials and their careers unless being politically appointed.

    The problem, when appointed people politically, is that we have in the government people working, who are incompetent, and I think that this is the case in many public institutions.

    Raisa Banfield said that after having graduated from the University, she went to apply for a position in the government in a vacancy that was requiring her expertise, so then she was asked “who was recommending her, and if she had a godfather into the political party that was in power during that term.” This is the way positions are delivered in the government, even though those positions may require qualified people. It is demoting having to live in as corrupt country as Panama is. It is not any particular president’s problem; this is the way Panama has functioned during decades. Panama is not a meritocratic country at all and employees are sometimes required to be fawning.

  3. Jehovanna Arcia

    January 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Not only Raisa Banfield is now into a political party, but also Idalia Martinez, who wants to get votes to be one of our deputies. She forever criticized Juan Carlos Varela and even referred to him as the one who sells alcohol, and now is shaking hands with him. She wants a job; she needs to pay bills, as everybody else. The government, more than anything else, is an office to give people a job, so the government has to be constantly re-inventing itself.

    Panama is a small country, and the jobs available for those college educated people are not enough. Not everybody can work in a call center, a job that is a low income, high skilled professional job that tend to require a high level of literacy and numeracy, but as I said before a low income job.

    Being working in the government is easier than having to work in a call center, so those who can escape call centers will try to be hired in the government, even though “waiting tables” in the meetings organized for the Cambers of Deputies where the salary can be 1,000 dollars per month or even more….I imagine that the salary depends on who is the godfather of that particular employee who will be waiting tables and organizing the food delivered.

  4. JC

    January 25, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    The wise decision college / university educated go to work for foreign multinationals or foreign NGO’s. Where their education, talents, and later experience are recognized both in salary and position.

    As a result none of my family has to play politics to eat. Although the down side is they are scattered throughout Europe and the Americas but not one works here.

  5. Benfatto

    February 2, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Is it any surprise? I wouldn’t know of any country where they play a different game. The only difference is the style and method but the goals are the same everywhere: to rob the people in a commonly justified manner. In this day and age it’s probably better to have a king, then at least you know where to complain.

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