Since 1919, Panama’s economy has thrived on shipping and banking laws that shielded those who wanted shelter. With the revelations of the Panama Papers, can a reform-minded president deliver transparency without undermining the country’s economy?
With corruption scandals, popular protests and the revelations in the Panama Papers, it’s easy to think that corruption in Latin America has suddenly increased. It hasn’t, but Latin American institutions are better prepared to deal with the fallout.
Politics and diplomacy provide the main themes for Latin Pulse this week. The program marks the anniversary of the diplomatic opening between Cuba and the United States with a special interview recorded in Havana. It also follows the complicated corruption scandal in Brazil that has now intersected with the political movement to impeach and unseat President Dilma Rousseff.
As former President Pérez Molina sits in jail, former comedian Jimmy Morales is the front-runner in the campaign for President of Guatemala. The Morales campaign was not central to the anti-corruption marches that brought down Pérez Molina, but he has become the politician most associated with the protest movement and the end of Pérez Molina. Is Morales the real face of the “Guatemalan Spring” or just the accidental beneficiary of the protests?
The landlocked, Southern Cone country is experiencing the same, if not worse, corruption scandals, social protests, approaching economic stagnation, and rising levels of violence widely reported on as just about every country of Latin America and the Caribbean. So why isn’t anyone paying attention?
Part one of a two-part series, Doctor Perez here looks at the events leading up to the September 6 elections, their implications for the second-round presidential elections and the potential for long-term institutional reform (difficult). The second post will examine the political situation boiling in Guatemala’s neighbors, Honduras and El Salvador.