Via Argentina area: one of the Odebrecht works

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Work along Plaza Einstein, just off of Via Argentina. It has been going on for more than a year. It has played havoc with local businesses. The New York Bagel Cafe, almost hidden here, is one of the establishments that has remained open but it has taken a terrible hit. Photo by Kermit Nourse. For a higher resolution version of this image click here.

With swirls of controversy, Odebrecht continues

photos by Kermit Nourse, note and captions by Eric Jackson

Under intense public pressure the National Assembly passed a “civil death” law that would bar people and entities convicted of corruption crimes from further dealings with Panamanian government entities. However, President Juan Carlos Varela vetoed that part of the law. If there is to be an override it will happen after the next legislative session begins in July.

Meanwhile, in an interview with La Estrella, Odebrecht compliance officer Mike Munro expressed satisfaction with that state of affairs. See it here in Spanish. The Brazilian-based construction conglomerate has admitted in a plea bargain to paying off Panamanian political parties and some of its operatives have alleged things in testimony to prosecutors that the Panamanian justice system appears unwilling to hear.

Odebrecht has several projects ongoing here — among them Line 2 of the Metro, with the authority in charge of that commuter rail system, the Colon city center renovation project and the works pictured here, a city-contracted makeover of Via Argentina and adjacent areas.

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It’s supposed to look a lot nicer when they are done, but right Now Parque Andres Bello, which fronts on Via Argentina, is where heavy equipment gets parked and construction materials get stored. Photo by Kermit Nourse. For a larger version of this, click here.
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