|Ricardo martinelli, in custody|
If you were thinking that Panama's former president, Ricardo Martinelli, now a resident of El Renacer Prison while awaiting trial for Embezzlement and illegal surveillance, and violation of the Right to Privacy, is unpopular with Panamanians, he just won a primary, and was the choice of voters in the upcoming election for Deputy in the National Assembly. Amazingly. Martinelli got 44% of the vote, although he was the nation's biggest kleptocrat as president. What's wrong with this picture ?
Panama appears to still be mired in the Cult of Personality that afflicts many Latin American countries, but aseriously, Martinelli stole millions, perhaps even billions, spied upon over 150 prominent Panamanians, and even Donald Trump, and they still idolize him in his native country. No wonder new foreign investment appears to be going elsewhere; there is a lack of confidence in Panama, which was further validated in the Panama Papers scandal, which has given the country a bad taste in the mouths of foreign businessmen, banking regulators, and compliance officers.
Just when you think the moral climate in Panama cannot get any worse, it does. Compliance officers who are charged with the calculation of Country Risk please take note.