Jump to content

Anti-Corruption Protests of 2018 and 2019, and Possible Steps to Reduce Corruption

Recommended Posts

On 1/1/2018 at 7:47 AM, JohnF13 said:

I think the problem lies in the belief that if EVERYONE is corrupt, who can the people elect to fix the problem?  When we first got here my very well connected lawyer told me that politicians get elected, get fat, then retire.  After 5 years, now I know what he meant by that.

A big anti-corruption rally is being planned for the 9:00 a.m. on the 9th of January.



Edited by Keith Woolford
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Thousands at “enough already” corruption rally

Post Views: 263
THOUSANDS of Demonstrators gathered on the Cinta Costera, Panama City’s parkland waterfront on Tuesday, January 9 to repudiate corruption and impunity, to call for the rejection of current politicians in the National Assembly and to chant their “enough already” slogan.


They began assembling near the statue of Balboa, at 8 am, and soon overflowed onto pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths, and reduce traffic to a single lane crawl on the eastbound highway.

The march was called by Ubaldo Davis, producer of the television program La Cáscara, who announced that, another demonstration  will take place in front of the Public Prosecutor’s Office  on January 23 demanding that Attorney General  Kenia Porcell, publish  the list of people who received ‘bribes’ from the Odebrecht construction company which has been long promised, but never delivered.


Adult participants of all ages including businessmen and the College of Lawyers in the peaceful gathering came carrying flags,  banners. and mops and pails to sweep the politicians out of office, and wearing “basta ya ( (enough already) headbands. They called for the ousting of sitting members of the Assembly, the exposure of the prominent figures who have received bribes from Odebrecht, and for their “civic death, an end to impunity and slap-on-the-hand punishments for those who have stolen millions from the people.


Not a politician was in sight.

At noon a large body of protesters moved close to the Mirimar residences, home of President Juan Carlos Varela who had been attending January 9 commemoration events.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

OFF THE CUFF: Anti-corruption protests to expand

Post Views: 214
The organizers of the mass rally on Tuesday, June 9 on the Cinta Costera are not resting on their laurels and plan to expand the fight against corruption and impunity.

On Wednesday, January 10, they plan to present before the National Assembly a bill that seeks to give “civic death” to the corrupt, excluding them from the public system and preventing convicted persons from ever returning to exercise public offices.

On Tuesday, January 23, another rally has been called to demand that the Attorney General, Kenia Porcell make public the list of people who ‘received bribes from the Odebrecht company, which is linked in a corruption scandal across several countries of Latin America. The rally will be in front of her Public Ministry offices.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Corruption Protesters at Varela home, labeled “mob”

Some of the thousands of protesters packed a bridge ovee the highway
Post Views: 183
THE GOVERNMENT’S response to the over 10,000  protesters who gathered on the Cinta Costera on Tuesday, January  9, to protest corruption and impunity, was to attack the media portrayal of the event and to claim that those who gathered near the home of President Juan Carlos Varela were political agitators linked to corruption.

At  a press conference on Wednesday,  Minister of the Presidency, Alvaro Aleman, characterized the crowds that went to Torres Miramar, where Varela lives to shout “corrupt” and “thief” were members of  “a political party whose leaders are marked by corruption.”

According to the government, the thousands of people who walked from the statue of Balboa on the Cinta Costera to the Miramar tower were a “group with political motivations that challenged public order”, and called for citizenship, the media and civil society to condemn the acts.

A government statement reads: “Given the legitimate right of citizens to convene a peaceful and civic protest against corruption on January 9 at a specific point of the Cinta Costera, a small group of people belonging mostly to a party politician whose leaders are accused of corruption, arrested abroad and fugitives from justice, took the opportunity to address the residence of President Juan Carlos Varela.

“By direct instructions from the President, and although it is his right for the protection of his family to put a distance between protesters and his home, the usual security ring was removed on January 9 and thus avoid provocations that taint the patriotic deed that is commemorated in honor of the martyrs.

“This group of people with clearly identified political links mobilized a mob to promote disrespectful slogans against the President and his family.

“This is the second time that political groups that in the past have supported acts of corruption have gathered at the premises of the residence of the President to seek provocation and a reaction from the security forces.

We do not rule out that the money from corruption is being used to finance these mobs that take advantage of legitimate peaceful citizen movements to infiltrate and carry out their political plans.

We regret that the disrespectful slogans promoted by these political groups that have been clearly identified have been taken by the media to generate news headlines, ignoring that those who agitated people are leaders who try to protect the corrupt belonging to their parties.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderators

Anti-corruption protesters target Attorney General

Post Views: 101
SCORES   of Panama citizens used their lunch hour on Tuesday, January 23 to continue the “enough is enough” protest against corruption and impunity that began on the Cinta Costera on Jan 9.

By coincidence, the demonstration began shortly before ex-president    Ricardo Martinelli appeared in court  in Miami  to hear  a US Federal judge endorse an earlier decision that he should be deported  to Panama to face trial,

Martinelli, is  widely believed to have been   the leader and biggest  benefactor  of a “den of thieves” who pillaged the nation’s treasury, and whom he described on CNN as a “cabinet of businessmen”

protest-1-300x169.jpgThe protesters assembled  outside the offices of Attorney General Kenia Porcell and while their numbers  fell far short of the 10,000 who gathered on the Coastal Strip two weeks earlier  they  made up for the shortfall with drums, tambourines and creativity in the production of banners carrying their message,

The announced purpose of the latest public outcry was to get Porcell to release the names of over 50 members of the previous administration -and potentially some in the present-  who are under investigation for accepting bribes from the Odebrecht construction company that received billions of State dollars.

Among the protesters were representatives of various sectors of organized civil society, who vociferously repudiated corruption cases that have shaken the country and drained state coffers.

Guillermo Marquez Amado, a former magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal, said that the latest gathering was to keep the memory alive among the citizenship that the Attorney General’s office is in default with its promise to disclose “the list of members of society that have committed acts of delinquency…

“Panamanians need to know who, among us, hurt us,” he said.

“The other issue is the financing that could have been given to political parties and candidates in the last campaign and that should also be a matter of public knowledge, “he said.

Allegations have surfaced that the Democratic Change presidential candidate. Domingo Arias, and then-candidate Juan Carlos Varela received campaign funding from Odebrecht.

Estrella de Calvo, a 78-year-old  said “We are tired of “corruption” and

the country does not want more “companies handing out bribes or corrupt politicians. Enough is enough.”

He is sovereign and we have decided to put an end to this, “the retired woman added.

Rafael Zevallos, one of the organizers, said the issue of corruption is very complex and is not limited to a list. He said that another issue for which they ask for pronouncements is that they no longer prosecute all corruption cases; the cases should be resolved in the courts but there should be jail sentences.

Others  complained about cosy deals in which the wealthy corrupt were able to avoid prison by  paying money  from the loot they had stolen.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Anti-Corruption Protests of Erly 2018
  • Moderators

Panama cacophony to protest corruption, impunity

Post Views: 126
CIVIL organizations in Panama have called for a national “pailaton” – a cacophony produced by banging pots, or pails, or blasting a car horn on Sunday, February 4, as a symbolic protest symbolic against corruption and impunity.

The demonstration is set for  7:00 p.m. and organizers have been using social networks tp encourage citizens to make the sounds heard in their home, on the streets, or in their cars. The noisy protest is expected to last 15 minutes

This will be the third major protest starting with a January 9 gathering of 10,000 people on the Cinta Costera, followed by a protest in front of the Attorney General’s office, demanding the release of the names of government officials and businessmen embroiled in the Odebrecht bribery scandal.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Anti-Corruption Protests of Early 2018
  • 1 year later...
  • Moderators

Assembly protestors denounce corruption, impunity


Posted 31/07/2019

Calls for the resignation of Deputy and PRD  leader 'Benicio Robinson, an end to corruption and impunity rose from the crowd of protestors that gathered in front of the National Assembly late afternoon on Tuesday, July 30.

One of the leaders of the initiative was the former independent presidential candidate Ricardo Lombana, who once again questioned multi-million dollar funds spent by lawmakers without accountability.

They gathered in the José Antonio Remón Cantera park, just steps from the Justo Arosemena palace, where the 71 deputies of the country operate. The men and women in charge of making the laws of the country were asked for accounts on corruption scandals in which they have been involved, and for transparency in the legislative forms and reforms to the internal regulations of the Assembly.

Lombana recalled that during the administration of  Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), more than $400 million of the taxes paid by all Panamanians were assigned to the deputies, “to do what that they wanted and nobody has been accountable.”

He recalled that former President  Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) promised to eliminate the games, although he only turned them into forms 080 and 172, "so that the deputies would do what they wanted." In the new Assembly, the forms remain.

Lawyer Celia Moreno, , urged citizens to return to the streets to demand greater transparency.

Protestors also questioned the resolution passed by the Credentials Commission, which is directed by PRD deputy Roberto Ábrego, which limits the intervention of each deputy per session to 30 minutes when ratifying the Executive's appointments.

The echo of the slogans reached the full legislative session, which started the session after 5:00 pm "Enough of corruption", "thieves", "we want reforms", could be heard in the chamber.

Some of the banners had messages: "For Panama," "Juan Diego Vasquez] we support you," "Benicio, respond to the people what you did with the $ 7 million."

Balloons in the shape of baseball bats recalled the scandal that deputy Benicio Robinson, who from the Panamanian Baseball Federation managed $7 million for the purchase of sports equipment, but has not said how the money was spent.

The independent deputy  Juan Diego Vásquez greeted protestors and in Tuesday’s session, he asked the president of the Assembly, Marcos Castillero, to analyze the resolution imposed by the Credentials Committee and warned that in time the protests of the people would not be contained.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Anti-Corruption Protests of 2018 and 2019
  • 2 months later...
  • Moderators

OPINION: A first step against corruption

Posted 09/10/2019

It is still premature to celebrate some significant progress in the discussions of the public procurement law reform project, but there are important signs that deserve to be recognized. A group of deputies has proposed that companies internationally convicted of corruption be excluded from tenders and public purchases in Panama. Although the initiative is good at first sight, the complexity of the issue must be taken into consideration. What are the countries whose judicial systems can be trusted? How will the list of convicted companies be updated? The task is more complicated when considering the situation of companies that make joint ventures, that form strategic alliances or have independent subsidiaries. This should not discourage the proposal; Conversely, It must urge its promoters and all interested citizens to look for mechanisms that send the message that we do not want corrupt companies in Panama. We may need international help to achieve this, but that first step is worthwhile and is necessary for the good of the country.- LA PRENSA, Oct 9



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Anti-Corruption Protests of 2018 and 2019, and Possible Steps to Reduce Corruption
  • 2 months later...
  • Moderators

OPINION: The Panama corruption miasma


Posted 13/12/2019

The Development Bank of Latin America presented a report on corruption in the region. The document concludes that corruption is a systemic problem that has a high level of acceptance in Panama. Corruption is accepted because it is a fast way to access public goods and services or to generate extraordinary fortunes overnight. 

The peoples of the region choose to support corrupt governments in exchange for short-term benefits. The lack of education and the appropriation of the concept of common good disarm Latin Americans in the face of corruption. The situation would be worse without the effort of the independent media, who are disqualified as "obsessed" with corruption, or who are subject to derision and contempt for the powerful. Panama is facing a great generational challenge. It can break the culture of corruption, punishing criminals from all sides, or it can immolate their future at the stake of politicking and patronage. The decision is of each of the citizens and of each public servant. The root of the great evils of this country is one and only one: corruption. - LA PRENSA, Dec 13



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...