The reported $59m settlement, between the Brazilian construction giant, Norberto Odebrecht SA, and the Government of Panama, which Panama asserts is the amount of bribe money paid to land major contracts in Panama, may be lower than the actual amount of bribe and kickback money payments made to Panamanians, according to reliable sources, who claim the true figure is much higher.
Many prominent Panamanians, both in and out of government, are said to have each received millions of dollars, to approve major construction contracts with Odebrecht. The fugitive former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, allegedly received over $6m, distributed to him, and his sons. The fact that the payments were so widespread in Panama is extremely disturbing, and further confirms that a culture of corruption, at the highest levels, continues to flourish, uncontrolled, notwithstanding the reputed reform efforts of the present Varela administration.
When additional details;, regarding the discovery of new information about additional bribe payments, becomes public, we shall analyze it on this blog.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock
Journals of Monte Friesner