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International News: United States bans former Panamanian President Martinelli from entering the country

Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2023. 11:44 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said that the United States will bar former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and his immediate family from entering the country, Reuters reports.

Martinelli is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding government contracts.

“I am announcing today the designation of former President of Panama Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal (“Martinelli”) for his involvement in significant corruption. Specifically, Martinelli accepted bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his tenure as the president. This section 7031(c) designations renders Martinelli and his immediate family members ineligible for entry into the United States,” Blinken said.

“Accepting bribes for government contracts undermines the integrity of Panama’s democratic institutions and fuels perceptions of corruption and impunity. Such acts of public corruption diminish confidence in governance and reduce resources available for schools, hospitals, roads, and other government services,” Blinken added.

Martinelli served as Panama’s President from 2009 to 2014.

 

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