Ricardo Martinelli, Panama’s former president, has recently been taken into custody by the US Marshals at the request of the current government of Panama. According to request made by the current President of the Panama, Martinelli is wanted for multiple offences that he is suspected of carrying out during his presidency, including illegal wiretaps, money laundering, using a welfare system to fund his own personal businesses, and several other forms of corruption.
Although Ricardo Martinelli refutes the charges, he is widely believed to be guilty due to the fact that he escaped from Panama just hours after the allegations that he had stolen millions of dollars had been made official. Other signs of suspicion lie in the wealth that came to several other members of his office during his term. It seems that everyone around him grew exceedingly rich, and much of that money can be traced back to dealings with the ex-president. The fact that Martinelli is now being brought in, does point to some changes taking place, but some also say that these actions are retaliatory in nature and that the current government should also be observed carefully, but it remains to be seen if they can turn things around. Many people doubt that any significant change can take place due to the depth at which the corruption runs in the country.
Security Services Panama wide have been struggling for a long time to keep up with developments unfolding between local government and local criminal organizations, and this recent arrest made of Panama’s last president shows why there has been so much of a struggle. Keeping all of the criminal actors in Panama straight is a full-time job. The fact that the lines between friend and foe are blurry most of the time doesn’t help the situation.