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Weekly Report - 04 July 2019 (WR-19-26)

PANAMA: Cortizo confronts corruption challenges

“No-one is untouchable.” This was one of the promises made by Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo upon taking office for a five-year term on 1 July, signalling a return to power for the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) after a decade. Cortizo’s campaign pledge to crack down on corruption is timely. Days before his inauguration, the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that Panama would again feature on its list of jurisdictions which require monitoring due to having strategic Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies. Meanwhile, revelations by the bribery division of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) made public last week, regarding the high-profile scandal involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, have reignited calls for the investigation to produce results.

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