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Commentary: The structure and impact of transnational corruption in Latin America

July 12, 2017
Commentary: The structure and impact of transnational corruption in Latin America Ángel Rondón, Odebrecht’s Dominican representative, was recently sentenced to one year in prison on corruption charges. Rondón is accused of having organized the distribution of $92 million in the form of bribes among several politicians to secure public work contracts and install a monopoly...

US judge defers ruling on extradition and bond for former Panama president

June 23, 2017
US judge defers ruling on extradition and bond for former Panama president MIAMI, USA -- The efforts of lawyers acting for Ricardo Martinelli, the fugitive ex-president of Panama, to obtain release on bond during his pending extradition proceedings were thwarted this week when the court declined to rule immediately on his bond request. A motion to dismiss the extradition...

Former Panama president arrested in US

June 14, 2017
Former Panama president arrested in US MIAMI, USA -- Former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, has been arrested in Florida, the US Marshals Service said on Monday. Martinelli (65) was transported to a federal detention centre near his home in Coral Gables, Miami. He was expected to appear for an extradition hearing.

The success of coral sponges in Panama is due to more than the absence of El Nino

June 13, 2017
The success of coral sponges in Panama is due to more than the absence of El Nino BOQUETE, Panama -- Coral bleaching due to thermal stress has been dated as early as 1782. With more recent reports of 25 percent of the Great Barrier Reef destroyed due to the recent El Niño (25,000 ha), and 40 percent of all corals on worldwide basis "disappeared", it is hard to fathom there is...

Newly released Caribbean renewable energy index highlights opportunities for investors

June 7, 2017
Newly released Caribbean renewable energy index highlights opportunities for investors MIAMI, USA -- Pan American Finance on Tuesday released the first edition of the Caribbean Basin Renewable Energy Investment Index, measuring the investment potential in renewable energy for then countries in the region: Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala...

The contested legacy of a Panamanian dictator

June 5, 2017
The contested legacy of a Panamanian dictator PANAMA CITY, Panama -- On May 30, Manuel Antonio Noriega died at the age of 83 after being taken off life support. The former leader, once called the strongman of Panama, had been in a coma since March, following an operation to remove brain tumours. Talking about Noriega is like prodding the wounds of...

Former Panamanian dictator Noriega dies at 83

May 31, 2017
Former Panamanian dictator Noriega dies at 83 PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has died aged 83. President Juan Carlos Varela announced Noriega's death late on Monday, saying it marked the closing of a chapter in the country's history. Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989 until an invasion...

Texas woman used Panama accounts to conceal more than $1.3 million from the IRS

May 29, 2017
Texas woman used Panama accounts to conceal more than $1.3 million from the IRS WASHINGTON, USA -- A resident of College Station, Texas, pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to defraud the United States by using offshore accounts in Panama to conceal more than $1.3 million in royalty income that she earned from oil wells. According to documents and information...

Interpol red notice issued for former Panama president

May 25, 2017
Interpol red notice issued for former Panama president MIAMI, USA -- Multiple reports from Panama, including case numbers, confirm that an Interpol 'Red Notice' has been issued for the fugitive former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, who faces at least a dozen criminal charges, including the operation of an illegal electronic surveillance program.

Panama financial reform agenda must prioritize combating tax evasion, says UN expert

May 13, 2017
Panama financial reform agenda must prioritize combating tax evasion, says UN expert PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Following last year’s leak of confidential financial documents from a Panama law firm, a United Nations rights expert this week called on the countries’ authorities to continue to impose greater due diligence on financial and banking institutions. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky...

Copa-Turkish Airlines agreement opens Guyana to Africa, Eurasia and Far East

May 1, 2017
Copa-Turkish Airlines agreement opens Guyana to Africa, Eurasia and Far East PANAMA CITY, Panama -- An agreement to operate joint flights was signed on Friday between Star Alliance members Copa and Turkish Airlines, and is a major game changer for the travel industry of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is especially important to Guyana, a country very much...

Appeals court in Panama grants bail to Mossack and Fonseca

April 24, 2017
Appeals court in Panama grants bail to Mossack and Fonseca PANAMA CITY, Panama -- A Panamanian magistrate, sitting in the Second Court of Justice, in an appellate capacity, has overturned the initial ruling of the 17th Criminal Court, and granted bail to Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca’s senior partners Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca.

'Solid case' exists in bribery scandal against Panama Papers law firm

March 29, 2017
'Solid case' exists in bribery scandal against Panama Papers law firm PANAMA CITY, Panama (ICIJ) -- Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers affair, sold shell companies and held bank accounts that were used to help conceal bribes paid across South America, a Panamanian prosecutor alleged at a press conference last Thursday.

'Don't worry, be happy' seems to have bypassed the Caribbean

March 21, 2017
'Don't worry, be happy' seems to have bypassed the Caribbean NEW YORK, USA -- The fifth annual World Happiness Report, written by a group of independent experts under the aegis of the United Nations, was published on Monday, but the concept immortalised in song of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, often erroneously attributed to Bob Marley, seems to have...

Letter: Finding my missing brother in Costa Rica or Panama

March 20, 2017
Letter: Finding my missing brother in Costa Rica or Panama I would very much appreciate if you could help me in my search to find my missing brother Kapil Hariyani in Costa Rica. He arrived in Costa Rica on February 20/21, 2017, and his last known location is Between Calle 10, San Jose, Costa Rica and 10101 San Jose, Costa Rica. I spoke to him...

A Panamanian idea that changed classified advertising in Central America

March 17, 2017
A Panamanian idea that changed classified advertising in Central America PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Encuentra24 is Panama sharing pleasant experiences worldwide. It's a story about vision, growth, perseverance and love for dreams achieved with a clear business focus and a commitment in the countries where it operates. This story goes back to 2005, when finding...

Press freedom organisation rejects draft bill in Panama that would interfere in media content

March 10, 2017
Press freedom organisation rejects draft bill in Panama that would interfere in media content MIAMI, USA -- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) on Thursday expressed its rejection of a legislative draft bill that seeks to oblige privately-owned news media to circulate educational and cultural messages, saying this is "an interference in content and a violation of news companies'...

Panama Papers law firm partners arrested

February 13, 2017
Panama Papers law firm partners arrested PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, the founding partners of the law firm at the epicenter of the Panama Papers documents leak scandal, have been arrested by Panamanian authorities on suspicion of money laundering. Panama attorney Edison Teano, another partner...

Second police raid carried out at Panama Papers law firm offices

February 11, 2017
Second police raid carried out at Panama Papers law firm offices PANAMA CITY, Panama -- The attorney general of Panama, Kenia Porcell, has publicly stated that a second raid has now been conducted upon the law offices of Mossack and Fonseca, who were implicated in massive money laundering, tax evasion, and criminal enterprises of their clients.

Panama suspends investigation into Mossack Fonseca

January 27, 2017
Panama suspends investigation into Mossack Fonseca PANAMA CITY, Panama -- The attorney general of Panama, Kenia Porcell, has suspended the ongoing investigation into criminal conduct at the law firm of Mossack and Fonseca, whose files formed the basis for the infamous Panama Papers document leak, which exposed rampant...

US court authorises 'John Doe summons' in relation to Panama company

January 26, 2017
US court authorises 'John Doe summons' in relation to Panama company BILLINGS, USA -- On Tuesday, a US federal court in Montana unsealed an order authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve a “John Doe summons” on Michael Behr of Bozeman, Montana, seeking information about US taxpayers who may hold offshore accounts established by...

Panama Papers prompt tax agencies to draw up 'target list' of offshore enablers

January 21, 2017
Panama Papers prompt tax agencies to draw up 'target list' of offshore enablers PARIS, France (ICIJ) -- Tax agencies from 30 countries convened in Paris this week to take part in the largest ever simultaneous exchange of tax information and to share results and details on thousands of investigations sparked by the Panama Papers. The meeting of the Joint International...

Panama refuses to cooperate with Malta in Panama Papers scandal

January 16, 2017
Panama refuses to cooperate with Malta in Panama Papers scandal MIAMI, USA -- Tax authorities in Malta have announced that the government of Panama has declined to assist them in their investigations into tax evasion initiated following information released by journalists in the Panama Papers documents leak scandal. Tax investigators from Malta have...

Novel Facebook-based survey measures citizen frustration with bureaucracy in the Caribbean

January 13, 2017
Novel Facebook-based survey measures citizen frustration with bureaucracy in the Caribbean WASHINGTON, USA -- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched two studies that show the low regard citizens, including those in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, have for the quality of public services they receive and how innovation can help make these services...

Success with the culture of the Pacific spiny lobster in Panama

January 13, 2017
Success with the culture of the Pacific spiny lobster in Panama BOQUETE, Panama -- The Pacific spiny lobster of Panama (Panulirus gracilis) is in dire straits due to overfishing for many years without any regulation. Estimates of populations in the Bay of Chiriquí indicate numbers are dismally low and lobsters for sale are hard to find throughout the local province.

Angry Panamanians burn US ambassador in effigy

January 11, 2017
Angry Panamanians burn US ambassador in effigy PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Panamanians, facing a perfect storm of problems, with the Panama Papers documents leak and other financial scandals, have responded with an action straight out of the 1960s: a life-size effigy, made up to look like the American Ambassador John Feeley...

Panama's banking regulator names financial institutions fined for deficiencies

January 9, 2017
Panama's banking regulator names financial institutions fined for deficiencies MIAMI, USA -- The Superintendent of Banking in Panama (SBP) has published a list of local financial institutions that have been subject to civil fines and penalties in 2015 and 2016. Reportedly, there are fines and sanctions imposed quarterly, but this critical information was never made public.

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