Thursday, June 9, 2016


Some Panamanian lawyers are crying bloody murder, over OFACs designation of 68 entities of the Waked Money Laundering organization. Inasmuch as patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, they are citing Panama's Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in a desperate move to compel the Government of Panama to ask the United States to remove the OFAC sanctions. It's not going to happen, licenciados.

The OFAC List of Specially Designated Nationals is commonly, but inaccurately, known in Latin America as the "Clinton List," as it refers to the former President of the United States, who in 1995, by Executive Order, created the SDN List. The nickname just appears to be a back-handed slap at the gringos who are north of the Rio Grande.

The Panamanian Constitution does, in fact, require the Government to protect the life, honor and property of its nationals, and foreigners residing in the country, to insure individual and social rights, but OFAC designation only restricts US citizens, and permanent residents, from doing business with the sanctioned individuals or entities.

Panamanian lawyers are screaming lack of Due Process, Presumption of Innocence, and the Right of Self-Defense, but there are administrative steps that sanctioned individuals can take, in the United States, to seek removal from the OFAC SDN List, if they are truly innocent, which is doubtful. Many duly qualified attorneys, especially in Washington, are available to handle these matters.

 Perhaps, instead of complaining about how their clients are being damaged, without any evidence, they should seek competent counsel. Specially Designated Nationals are released from the OFAC list regularly; just look at the Treasury website, under Financial Sanctions, to confirm this.

Of course, it may just be more likely that the Waked companies are guilty of money laundering of  billions of dollars of narcotics profits, and their lawyers are angry that one more Panamanian criminal syndicate has been exposed, and which no longer has ready access to the US financial network; Qué Lástima.

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