Ricardo Martinelli, facing eleven different criminal charges in his native Panama, including human rights violations, insider trading, and massive corruption allegations, has been ordered by the Government of Paraguay to lave the country immediately. The former President of Panama has been living in an estate in Paraguay, that he covertly purchased while in office, since major corruption scandals broke in Panama. The fact that he was living in Paraguay, and not in Miami, as his supporters have long claimed, was well known in Panama City.
Reliable sources in the Republic of Panama state that Martinelli has approached the governments of Spain, and the United States, seeking asylum, alleging that the current Panamanian government has targeted him for purely political reasons, and that he is innocent of all pending charges. To date, neither government has responded to his requests.
There are also unconfirmed rumors that there is a reward, or bounty, offered for his capture, but whether there is a factual basis for this information is unknown. Over 150 families in Panama, both citizens and resident expats, were victimized by Martinelli's illegal telephone and Internet surveillance program, and they are demanding justice. Will the former president, now reviled in Panama, ever see the inside of a courtroom, to answer for his many crimes ? We cannot say, but his banishment from Paraguay makes that day seem a bit closer to reality. When Martinelli leaves the safety of his Paraguayan refuge, he becomes easier to catch.