The way in which the then President Juan Carlos Varela and the current Attorney General of the Nation, Kenya Porcell , were inexplicable.
It extended beyond a parallel hand of justice, as this newspaper revealed in a series of reports detailing the Executive’s interference in criminal cases investigated by the Public Ministry . It was more than that: the decisions they reached both radiated the way Varela ruled the country. And to all sectors: political, diplomatic, foreign policy, activities of the deputies, advice on how to handle the media, interviews, consultations with certain magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice about specific investigations of corruption.
On a routine day they could exchange more than 100 messages accompanied by several phone calls and attachments as tweets of those considered “enemies” politicians, audios, videos.
They even exchanged photographs of the food they were about to taste and where they were at that time. On April 27, 2018, for example, they were written more than 200 times.
From the time Porcell woke up until he closed his eyes to sleep, they exchanged messages about Creole political issues; about the investigation of the Blue Apple case, the case of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht or what to do with former president Ricardo Martinelli, who was imprisoned in the El Renacer prison, but who on several occasions evaluated the idea of transferring it to La Mega Joya.
Varela consulted Porcell even about the speeches he would give in different activities. This was the case with the alleged fifth ballot that would be included in the general elections of May 5, 2019, with the purpose of knowing the opinion of the people about the possibility of calling a parallel constituent, a speech that was approved by the head of the Public ministry.
Porcell suggested to Varela how to put together a strategy in the media to make the proposal clearer. He ordered him to send his best men to the Alvaro Alvarado news on Telemetro, and even that Rigoberto (presumably Rigoberto González Montenegro, Attorney General of the Administration) should also attend. Varela takes the advice and builds the strategy, the idea is to absolve all questions to disarm those who sought to reduce strength and complicate everything. A media triumph for them.
The line that supposedly had to separate the functions between the two faded. There were already signs of this, perhaps before they went unnoticed.
In August 2017, Varela was walking along Peru Avenue when he asked for a phone to call the attorney and ask him to look out the window to make eye contact with her while the call was going on.
The link allowed influence traffic. Porcell asked the president, on May 9, 2018, to intervene in the National Bank to get a loan for $ 120,000 for his sister Oris (who kept a questioned credit history), and what he would use to buy a residence in Montelimar, La Chorrera The president immediately follows the diligence and makes sure that the bank approves the loan. She complains that the manager of the Savings Bank, Mario Rojas, hates it and would surely leak the information.
Varela suggests better to process the loan with Rolando De León, manager of the National Bank.
They had each other, showed a love of brotherhood and respect in which he promises that he will never leave her alone, and that he will watch over her and her family all the time.
THE FILTERED CHATS
The portal Varelaleaks.com released the material on Tuesday, November 5
- Among the alleged exchanges of messages are Pedro Heilbron, Stanley Motta, Jorge Barakat, Carlos Santana, Sivia Carrera, Deputy Adolfo Valderrama, Mario Etchelecu, Fernando Berguido, Emanuel González Revilla, among others.
That union would explain why the Public Ministry kept the chapter of Odebrecht’s investigation that related Varela and prominent members of his party with the alleged bribes. The Public Ministry investigated political figures of opposition parties, but did not insist on the investigations, at least publicly, to clarify the transfer for $ 150,000 received by the Strategic Management Group Inc, whose owner Carlos Duboy was one of the closest collaborators of Varela, for example.
In other chats between Varela and his communication advisors, the president asks that the investigations of La Estrella de Panamá on the monies collected from the Brazilian construction company by Jaime Lasso, a trustworthy figure of Varela, a member of the Panameñista Party – who is not he prosecuted in the investigation of Odebrecht’s coimas on the grounds that he had already been investigated for another case – they are overshadowed with news about his trip to China.
Varela and Porcell met frequently, even at the Security Council facilities. He organized trips to her, worried about her health, if she took breaks to continue the battle they defined “against corruption.”
While former president Juan Carlos Varela is on a trip through Shanghai, China, to attend as a guest of the government of that country to the International Import Expo of China, in Panama circulate hundreds of conversations, extracted from his cell phone, which he held with members from his cabinet, businessmen, diplomats, representatives of international politics; the director of the Security Council Rolando López; the solicitor; the comptroller, Federico Humbert, among others.
This medium, when a series of alleged conversations between former President Varela and other actors on the Varelaleaks.com website is made public , considers that given the status of the official during the exchanges and the public interest, society deserves to put into context different aspects that They will be exposed in various reports.
The material was published by a group of Latin American citizens on the night of November 5, which exhibits 24 GB evidencing the influence or abuse of authority. These are conversations that occurred between 2017 and 2018. The domain of the portal is registered under the company Infomaniak Network, SA and was created in the state of Texas, United States.
The Star of Panama contacted the press department of the Public Ministry to make room for the Porcell version, but until the end of this edition no response was obtained. Unofficially it was learned that Porcell went on a trip for 15 days last Tuesday afternoon.
The leaks were disclosed in TextEdit format and many of them have been corroborated by this newspaper.
In April 2018, Varela asks Porcell for help on a foreign policy issue. It was when the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, publicly referred to a possible meeting with Varela to resolve the differences between the two countries. In this regard, Porcell recommended declining the invitation because it would be very negative for the country. She refers to Maduro disparagingly, as “a dirty man and a criminal.” Varela seems to accept the recommendation and sends him a draft of the statement he intends to take as part of the response from Panama to Maduro. Varela awaits Porcell’s recommendations regarding drafting, and she suggests adding that Panama is a peaceful and respectful country that takes care of its sovereignty. In the same way, he advises him to take distance from Maduro, leaving the medullary to the then chancellor and vice president, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado.
As a result, Varela issues the statement adopting the suggestions of his ally. He modified the title and sent De Saint Malo to the Dominican Republic in response to an invitation from President Danilo Medina, who acted as an intermediary between the two governments.
In the Legislative
Porcell’s power over Varela’s decisions reached as far as he should handle the deputies or the articles he should veto from the laws just passed in the National Assembly. An example of this was reflected in the Law that sought to cancel the contract between the State and the PSA port company. A fact that, in the opinion of Porcell, undermined corporate legal security and therefore, expressed its rejection of the actions of the deputies allegedly for playing with the rules that had prevailed up to that time.
To pave the way of the veto, the attorney gave him a supposed idea that consisted of the Allied deputies starting a campaign on social networks with messages that functioned in advance of the president’s action on the veto of the law. This, taking advantage of several guilds began to raise their voice of protest against this fact. Everything looked like a fight between port powers in which one of the companies had influenced to direct the action of the deputies. This led Varela to conclude that he should scare them for the abuse. The president proposed that someone should file a criminal complaint, even though she warned him that the deputies are not investigated and tried by the Public Ministry, but by the Supreme Court of Justice. In any case, the president insisted that he would look for someone to file the complaint and give it to Porcell for review.
Why were Porcell’s advice respected, practically to the letter, becoming a super power within the gear of state institutions, as will be evidenced throughout Varelaleaks’ publications?
Rolando López, director of the Security Council, introduced Porcell in the intelligence cabinet of that entity as legal advisor from September to December 2014. Subsequently, Porcell was appointed head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and was in charge of the criminal investigations of which I had met at the Security Council. This is just a sample of the immense ocean of information revealed by the mentioned portal.