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Thursday, July 31 2014 @ 03:36 PM EDT

Former Director of Immigration Faces Trial For Corruption

CorruptionThe former director of the National Immigration Service (NMS), Maria Cristina Gonzalez, came this Friday, July 20, to the Third Criminal Court to appear at the preliminary hearing against her for alleged crimes against public administration and public faith. In this case, eight people are being accused. Gonzalez came to court with her lawyer Maria Eduarda Cordoba. Investigations against the former public official were developed by the Second Anti Corruption Prosecutor. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: It's relatively rare in Panama to see corruption charges brought against a public official, while the administration who put that person in place is still in power. Maria Cristina Gonzalez was named during the Martinelli administration. They discovered she was corrupt, so they fired her and now she's facing trial. When she was still in office I received dozens of complaints about her and how she was running Immigration. Let's see how the trial turns out. But I wanted to take a moment to recognize (and applaud) the actions of the administration of Ricardo Martinelli who cleaned out his own house - which is relatively rare and unheard of in Panama. "Normally" corrupt officials are allowed to simply resign or otherwise slink off with no further repercussions, until later when their political opponents are in charge of the country. See - CEMIS.

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