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Pandeportes - Panamanian Institute of Sports: Corruption

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11 indicted in multi-million-dollar sports scam


Posted 21/04/2022

The anti-corruption prosecutor Leyda Saénz presented before the judicial office of the Accusatory Criminal System of the First Judicial District (SPA) an indictment against 11 people for  alleged embezzlement and money laundering through the management of funds assigned to federations sports of the Panamanian Institute of Sports (Pandeportes)  

The investigation began on October 30, 2018, as a result of a report by L a Prensa , which reported a series of irregularities in the management of funds and delivery of sports equipment by various sports federations and organizations.

In the indictment, charges were filed against the former deputy of the Panameñista Party, Adolfo Valderrama , accused of money laundering, and the former directors of the Pandeportes Roberto Arango and Mario Pérez were charged for the crime of embezzlement . Embezzlement charges embezzlement  charges  were also laid against the former manager of the Baseball Federation, Aníbal Reluz, and the president of the Basketball Federation, Jair Peralta.

Other defendants are the former deputy of the Democratic Revolutionary Party , Jaime Pedrol, Jorge Luis Dutary, Ana Virginia Tejada, Beatriz Mercedez Herrera, Ulrich Raúl Ronner Araúz and César Ramsés Tejada.

According to a report from the Comptroller, between the years 2014-and 2018, $59.9 million was delivered between 133 disciplines, foundations, and sports leagues.

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Pandeportes gave $63 million  contracts to insider’s brother


Posted 28/02/2023

The brother of a director at the state-owned Empresa Nacional de Autopista (ENA) has received more than $63 million in contracts from Pandeportes– including one of them without competition. He has also received millionaire contracts from the Metro reports La Prensa.

In less than three months, the company Civil y Logística, SA was awarded two contracts, the total amount of which amounts to $63.4 million. The contracting institution is the Panamanian Institute of Sports (Pandeportes), which is also directed by Héctor Brands (PRD). The contracted company has among its dignitaries Marlene Cardoze Martinelli, who is, at the same time, a member of the board of directors of the National Highway Company (ENA), as representative of the Executive.

Apparently, Pandeportes has a special sympathy for the company Civil y Logística, SA, since it has awarded the company two contracts: the first, in April 2022, for $47.5 million, for the study, design, construction, equipment, and financing of the High-Performance Sports Center which includes a financing cost of $3.2 million; the second was awarded as the sole bidder –without competition– in June of the same year, for $15.9 million, to build the Sports Hall of Fame. Both contracts total $63.4 million

The first contract –for $47.5 million– was not all for Civil and Logistics. Other government acquaintances also appeared. Civil y Logística, SA joined a consortium to obtain this contract with Constructora NFL, SA and Compañía Jera. The representative of Constructora NFL is Juan Carlos González Abadía, brother of Félix "Pille" González, compadre of former president Martín Torrijos.

The González family –linked to several other companies with multiple works with the current Government– is also very well connected to the Executive through Nadia Del Río, who was appointed at the beginning of this administration by President Cortizo on several boards of directors of state entities, including the Banco Hipotecario Nacional and the Public Registry. At that time, Del Río was executive assistant to Cortizo, although the official has a greater affinity with the vice president, José Gabriel "Gaby" Carrizo.

In January 2020, Cardoze Martinelli was ratified by the National Assembly as a member of ENA's board of directors. But she also appears in Civil y Logística, SA, signed in 2013, in which Cardoze Martinelli holds the position of treasurer, while her brother Juan David Cardoze Martinelli holds the position of president and secretary.

These same people are also old acquaintances of the State. All of them are dignitaries of Fire Protection, SA, a company that since 2014 has had million-dollar contracts with the Panama Metro for the preventive and corrective maintenance of the line 1 fire system. in December 2021, it renewed its contract - of $2.2 million – to provide those same services for a period of two and a half years.

The same services for Metro line 1 are also provided by Fire Protection, SA on Metro line 2. In April of last year, it was given the order to proceed to offer these services for at least $2.6 million, for two years and two months.

For both contracts obtained in disputed tenders, Fire Protection, SA presented reference notes from the consortiums that built lines 1 and 2, made up of the controversial Constructora Odebrecht and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).


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