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Friday, March 22 2019 @ 08:09 PM UTC

New Charges Presented Against Supreme Court Judges

Corruption Yesterday US businessman Arther Marohl presented a complaint to the Panamanian National Assembly against two supreme court justices, Graciela Dixon and Anibal Salas, alleging coverups, abuse of power, and for failing to due their jobs. Marohl had a case against the ex-director of the National Bank Bolivar Pariente, that the judges threw out. They buried the case against Pariente in just five days, even though the file contained more than 1,700 pages of evidence. When the US pulled Winston Spadafora's visa after the assembly killed the first set of complaints against the court, it became apparent that the government of the United States is watching these events closely. They apparently are trying to nudge Panama in the right direction with regards to corruption. Marohl apparently thinks the time is right to reignite the fire under the court, and he could not have had better timing.

The Panamanian people have lost confidence in their own justice system. If the courts don't function the way they should at the highest levels of the justice system, imagine what's going on down at the local levels. If Panama ever wants to clean up its act and remove the prevailing perception in the international community of endemic corruption, then politicians in power cannot continue to protect their friends with abuses of power.

Panama can take heart in the fact that every democratic government goes through corruption scandals periodically. If democracy is working the way it should, then corrupt officials are uncovered, complaints are filed, its discussed in the media, and then action is eventually taken to correct the wrongs. Sometimes it can take years to unravel a complicated web of coverup and cover-for. And, information is power in the political arena, and since the Arnulfistas and the PRD have basically been taking turns every five years since 1990 its quite likely that the ones in power today are gathering chips to use against their political foes who are waiting in the wings for their turn when it comes.

In the end it's pretty simple -- just pass the laws, and then enforce them. Democracy is always closer to a mud fight than a dinner dance, and the ones in power only care about keeping hold of their position and power. Let's see how this most recent evolution works itself out. The US can keep pulling Visas, eh? How would Panama look if it were the only country in the world where all of it's supreme court judges have had their visas pulled for having ties to corruption?

The national assembly follows Martin Torrijo's orders, and they can't keep burying these complaints. They should be fully investigated in a very public forum, and if someone ends up getting canned, then so be it.
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