Scandal Splashes Another Of Martinelli’s Cousins

Contributed by: Don Winner
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CorruptionThe mayor of the district of Portobelo, Carlos Chavarria, said the dentist Reinaldo Della Togna Martinelli – a cousin of the former President Ricardo Martinelli – demanded $80,000 to lobby the then Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, in order to attend to the company A2Z Strategy Construction Panamá, S.A.
Della Togna, however, said he spoke to De Lima so that he would receive an Arab businessmen who wanted to invest in Portobelo, but he denied having demanded payment, unless it was voluntary.

He said it is “not a sin” to receive a commission, because the figure of the “lobbyist” exists, but he dropped the matter when De Lima did not speak well about it.

Meanwhile, De Lima said he only remembers talking with Della Togna Martinelli about a supposed fund from Arab investors who were to lend money to Panama. (Prensa)

Editor’s Comment: I love it when people are caught red handed, how they wiggle and flop around in the bottom of the boat. This guy – Martinelli’s cousin – charged someone $80,000 to get an audience with De Lima. When asked about it, he calls himself a “lobbyist” and says the payment was “voluntary.”

This is influence peddling, pure and simple. The problem is that the person who is peddling the influence, in this case Martinelli’s cousin, cashes the check before the meeting takes place so the money is already in his pocket no matter the outcome of the meeting. In Panama, this is how it works. If you want to get access to the highest levels of power, it’s going to cost you. There are buffer layers between you, and them. If you want to build some sort of a project or invest money, you have to pay bribes in order to make it happen.

That’s how business is done in the horribly corrupt Panamanian society. Access sold to the highest bidder. You know, exactly the way things are done in Washington DC…

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