El País reports Panama’s Tourism Minister Salomón Shamah whitewashed Murcia campaign donations

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Tourism Minister Salomon Shamah served as a conduit for two $800k donations to Martinelli's campaign by Murcia, El País reports.

Costa Rican newspaper El País runs another story today connecting the dots about president Martinelli's ties with money laundering and drug trafficking, while Panama's so-called "media" are idly standing by; none of our "newspapers" has even dared to quote the accusations against Martinelli despite the wide distribution of the Costa Rican articles in Panama, which El País claims is out of fear of losing lucrative contracts for government advertising.

Journalist Carlos Salazar explains today that there were two investigations into Martinelli's cousin and his money laundering crew; one in Panama and one in Mexico. The president claimed that he knew about the Panamanian investigation and was going to be at the airport when he'd be arrested to "give an example". However, that implies that Martinelli, who is not a member of the Public Ministry, knew about the investigation all along, writes Salazar, which is a violation of the integrity of said investigation. It would obviously allow Martinelli to take measures to protect his treasurer or shield his own involvement in the scheme.

José Abel Almengor Echeverría, El País alleges, was who made sure Martinelli Corro and his accomplices were arrested in Mexico instead of Panama.

Almengor was at the time Martinelli's security czar. He had been removed earlier as a drug prosecutor by Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez because he personally made sure that Ernesto Chong Coronado safely left the country despite a measure that prevented Chong from traveling as he was an important suspect in the ever-widening Murcia scandal. Shortly after Martinelli Corro's arrest in Mexico, Almengor was appointed as magistrate in the Supreme Court by Martinelli.

El País also reports that when he was still Panama's Drug Czar, Almengor removed documents from the Murcia file proving donations by the Colombian of $800,000 each made through Salomón Shamah, who is now Minister of Tourism and of Colombian origin.

President Martinelli's supermarket chain traded coupons of Murcia's organization DMG for a substantial amount. Ricamar, the holding company of Martinelli's business empire, had one Alma Cortés as its in-house legal counsel. She was soon after appointed as Martinelli's Minister of Labor.

El País quotes sources again today reiterating that Martinelli's scheming to have Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez removed from her post was because he needed a front man appointed - Bonissi - who would close down any and all investigations into money laundering through Super99, a charitable foundation and Cambio Democratico.

In what also smells like a cover-up, the records of the myriad of shell companies used by Martinelli Corro has apparently been removed from the public database of the Public Registry.

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  1. Pingback: Stop dreaming: Martinelli can't and won't stop crime in Panama | Bananama Republic

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