It says a lot about the state of our media when Panamanians en masse turn to foreign sources to get the news on what's happening in their country. It used to be like that during the military dictatorship, and those days are back now that Martinelli rules our country. While our local journalists are sticking feathers up each other's asses and receive "awards" from Uruguayan dictatorship criminals, the heavy lifting is being done by Costa Rican digital paper El País. With La Prensa et al bought, sold and paid for, El País is the only publication connecting the dots in the scandal that links president Ricardo Martinelli and his government with money laundering and drug trafficking.
Today they're at it again, with an article explaining that Labor Minister Alma Cortés, who used to be legal counsel for Martinelli's supermarket empire, is blatantly lying about the involvement of the president's money laundering cousin with Cambio Democratico. She said that "we had to throw him out of the party in 1999", but documents show that this is not true at all, and that as late as 2001 Mrs. Cortés was defending the guy in court. El País also published pictures of Martinelli with the clique of money launderers during the 2009 election campaign.
Cortés was also defending Ernesto Chong, a close ally of David Murcia, who at one time escaped the country with the help of drug czar José Abel Almengor Echeverría. Almengor was fired for that by AG Ana Matilde Gomez but subsequently rewarded by Martinelli with an appointment as a Supreme Court Magistrate. That same Supreme Court then moved to have Ana Matilde Gomez suspended.
Martinelli's former bookkeeper, who must have knowledge about the money laundering affairs, Gioconda de Bianchini, is now Panama's comptroller of the state.
One wonders why Ricardo Martinelli isn't making his campaign finances public if there's nothing to hide?
It's interesting to see that none of Panama's "journalists" appears to be investigating the money laundering accusations, even though there are more than sufficient leads to follow.