Bernal, Pro Odebrecht Beneficio

Offering a variety of excuses about why the investigations of the Odebrecht scandal show little progress, at her May 31 press conference Attorney General Kenia Porcell declined to say whether the office of the Presidencia figures in the probes and later said that she would make no further public statements about the matter. Photo by the Public Ministry.

Pro Odebrecht Beneficio

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

The dimensions of the cultural, psychological, economic, moral-ethical and social damage caused by Odebrecht and its local accomplices are impossible to measure.

Today Panama, with its fragile institutions, remains hijacked and subjected to the will of the Brazilian mega-conglomerate, the owner and lord of our public officials’ actions — who along with those who it bribed are taking our country onto the beachheads of criminal conspiracy.

The Attorney General’s latest press conference show again left in evidence the degree of selective justice and the absolute lack of independence of the Public Ministry’s actions. The ministry collides head-on with the civic repudiation of the rot that has set in on our body politic in general but with even greater intensity among our national provincial, municipal and other officials.

The horror of what has been done, by action or omission, to “assist” Odebrecht in its programmed assault on the property of the Panamanian people, has severely hit broad sectors of the citizenry, who have thus decided to participate in the fight against this situation It is inadmissible that the Office of the Attorney General overlook the revelations of Fernando Migliaccio y Rabello about the role of the presidency of Panama in the cover-up of the giving and taking of bribes.

The absolute absence of tangible and concrete initiatives on the part of the Panamanian Public Ministry has become a real obstruction to national and international investigations and has served to lend legal and logistical support ot corruption with impunity.

The so-called rewarded testimony has in effect become a delay, so that the desired result is that nothing happens. Rabello’s pressure on the president of Panama has been apparently been effective, since the Panamanian government does not cooperate by providing the information required that other jurisdictions require, nor is it interested in Panamanians knowing into which hands the more than $3 billion in bribes distributed here since 2006 have passed.


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