Working as a securities regulator in the Republic of Panama can be hazardous to your health. An attempt was made this week, upon the life of Gustavo Gordon, an investigator with the Superintendent of Securities in Panama. he was stabbed three times, but survived, and is presently in hospital, recovering from his wounds.
Sr. Gordon was, at the time of the attack, en route to the office of Financial Pacific, the investment firm alleged to have facilitated millions of dollars in illegal insider trading profits, reportedly taken by outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli, and several of his ministers; Gordon was investigating the case. The role played by the American broker, Gary Lundgren, who is closely linked to President Martinelli, is reportedly part of the investigation.
|Former Superintendent Abood|
everyone involved in the case has been targeted. The Superintendent of Securities, Alejandro Abood, resigned after receiving 40 death threats at his home. Another government regulator investigating the case, attorney Vernon Ramos López, is missing and presumed dead. The attack upon Gordon took place in a park near the former offices of Financial Pacific, where he was expected to continue to examine the company's books and records, as the lead investigator in the case.
The case has drawn attention from international human rights groups, as the whistle blower, Maytee Pelegrini, a former financial pacific employee who is being held incommunicado by the authorities, without being allowed to met with her attorneys, or the media, has alleged that the government is engaged in a massive cover-up of the facts, due to the involvement of so many senior government officials. Many Panama observers are awaiting the arrival of the country's newly-elected president, Varela, who is a reformer, to see whether there will be criminal charges filed.