A month ago, the Republic of Panama delivered extradition papers to the United States, regarding its former president, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal. Martinelli is facing a dozen criminal cases in Panama City, and has been living free in Miami, since January 2015. So why won't we send him home ?
While president, Martinelli, together with his ministers, and other associates, engaged in massive corruption and theft of government assets, said to approach $300m. He is accused of insider trading, money laundering, extortion, abuse of power, taking bribes, misappropriation of public funds, and a boatload of other crimes and transgressions.
The problem appears to be this: Martinelli came to exile in Miami, through the good offices of some unnamed US law enforcement agency, which he acted as a confidential informant, and as such, he is enjoying some form of protection from extradition. The American public, which rarely sees the back room dealings between its law enforcement agents, and its sleazy informants, deserves to know precisely why one of the most corrupt leaders that Panama ever had the misfortune to elect is enjoying the high life in our country, when he should be facing the long list of charges pending against him ?
Where is the US Department of Justice in all this ?
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock
Chronicles of Monte Friesner