Systemic money laundering rages out of control in the Republic of Panama. "Flight Capital," mainly narcotics profits, flows into the country from Venezuela, Colombia, and yes, the United States, unhindered and, unofficially, welcomed. What's wrong with this picture ? Prosperity yes, yet enjoyed at what is certainly an unacceptable price.
Should legitimate businessmen, especially foreigners, have a bona fide claim for damages or loss, they often find the judiciary has been bribed, in advance, to rule against them, even when the law and the facts support their case. Horror stories of corruption, reaching all the way up to the Supreme Court of Panama, are exchanged between prominent Panamanian law firms and clients seeking justice.
Personally, I know many honest bankers, and ethical attorneys in Panama City, but they live under the looming dark shadow of organised crime and corrupt politicians. What is to be done ?
Panamanians are fine people who live in a beautiful country; they do not deserve to live in such a corrupt system. Reform is desperately needed, but there is nobody on the local political horizon to clean house. Drastic measures are called for.
Will someone please call Paris, and wake up the caretakers of the FATF Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) List; unfortunately, we need it now more than ever. It is surely "Blacklist Time" once more, and we need to apply it to the Republic of Panama.