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Sunday, September 24 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT

Torrijos Told Eaton About Rampant Corruption During Moscoso Years

Corruption William Eaton, the US Ambassador in Panama during the administration of Martin Torrijos, said President Torrijos told him that that former government officials who served in government positions during the administration of Mireya Moscoso were receiving $40,000 dollars per month in bribes. According to a Wikileaks cable given to La Prensa dated July 2007, Torrijos told Eaton he was making efforts to fight corruption and the "rich and powerful" of Panama. "Torrijos said when it became obvious the gravy train would be ending soon, they set up a scandal," said Eaton, referring to the concessions given at the Tocumen International airport. "Government officials from the Moscoso era continued to receive about $40,000 per month in bribes from those who had the concessions to run the duty free shops at the Tocumen International Airport," Torrijos told the ambassador. The cable reports on a President Torrijos who is whipping the media for criticizing a program run by his wife Vivian, annoyed with the "civil society" and complaining about "the powerful who control the country." Eaton, however, does not seem to be convinced by Torrijos' comments. (La Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Ah yes, another of Panama's "open secrets." Everyone in the entire country knows that the administration of Mireya Moscoso was one of the most corrupt in the history of the republic. And, practically nothing has been done about it. The only real and practical impact on the ground was that her Panameñista party got trounced by Martin Torrijos in 2004 with the then "Arnulfista" candidate coming in a distant third. Embarrassed by Mireya Moscoso's performance, the "Arnulfista's" changed the name of the party to the Panameñista's in an effort to distance themselves from the corruption associated with their party in the minds of most. Five years later, after the PRD proved once again they are no less corrupt than the Panameñista's, the upstart Ricardo Martinelli and his Cambio Democratico party won in 2009, with the formerly powerful Panameñista party candidate Juan Carlos Varela playing second fiddle, in return for support for his run in 2014. Most Panamanians clear their throat and spit on the ground when you mention the name of Mireya Moscoso - her entire administration was a disgrace. And how many of them went to jail for stealing millions upon millions of dollars of government money? Like, none. And what's the difference between Ernesto Perez Balladares and Mireya Moscoso in terms of corruption and bribes for concessions granted? Also, none.

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