Panama's Anti Corruption Czar Fernando Núñez Fábrega Resigns
Friday, January 07 2011 @ 09:38 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Management - The Panama America published a report covering the period from July to October 2009, in which the Anti Corruption Secretariat received a total of 142 citizen complaints on alleged acts of corruption, and of those 124 were thrown out. Of the 17 that were processed, only one was presented before the relevant authorities. In that same period, another 107 citizen complaints were received through the entity's website; of these 97 were thrown out and ten were processed. Although more enforcement "power" was awarded to Núñez Fábrega in July 2009, there were only 39 complaints filed, according to his Web site, where one of these is a repeat.
Travel - The same report on his administration stressed that the Secretariat complied with the updated expense reports on their website pursuant to the Transparency Act, this contrasted with the information that appeared. In 2009, only two trips appeared, to Washington in August and Qatar in October for a cost of $15,950. On those two trips that no longer appear on the website, Núñez Fábrega was accompanied by Max Ballesteros, a lawyer for the Secretariat. In Qatar, Nuñez was a speaker at a UN conference on corruption, but, months later in a seminar for journalists in Panama, he revealed he had paid bribe to a man in that country to transport them. The website that is still under their administration, does not reflect the full details of all the trips that were made during his tenure, because in 2010 only four trips are listed, of which three were to Washington and one to Austria. Nunez Fabrega at the time justified the lack of information on the websites of the institutions was due to "laziness." One can see that on the website of the Secretariat there is no access to the access fees or per diem payments received, and the list of all administrative acts subject to public participation, among other important places in the line of Transparency. (Panama America)
Editor's Comment: In Panama the "Anti Corruption Czar" -known officially as the Secretariat Against Corruption - is a political position appointed by the president. In the case of Fernando Núñez Fábrega he is related to Ricardo Martinelli - I think they are like cousins or something. That means whoever sits in this office is more concerned about investigating acts of corruption committed by members of the opposition PRD political party, like during the previous administration, or by PRD members who hold offices in other places in the country. Hence the "anti corruption czar" becomes more of a shield or filter to protect the sitting President than an actual weapon against any current or ongoing corruption within the actual administration, kind of like Orwell's Ministry of Truth (that made up the lies) if you catch my drift. Anyway, Fernando Núñez Fábrega is gone, some other Martinelli loyalist will be named to the post, and life goes on.