After the announcement of the resignation of the Attorney General of the Nation, Kenya Porcel, after making known the so-called “Varelaleaks”, various reactions from political sectors and civil society have emerged, both nationally and internationally.
For the former president of Transparency International José Ugaz, the resignation of the Attorney General in the middle of filtering audios of former President Varela that reveals improper conversations with his brother and lack of independence from the Attorney General’s Office in the Odebrecht case, is a new blow to the fight against corruption in Panama.
For Ugaz, this crisis should not encourage impunity or affect progress in the investigations promoted by the Public Ministry.
“It is imperative that the content of the talks, as well as the origin of the illegal interceptions, be thoroughly investigated. The fight against corruption must continue, ”he said.
Cortizo will have a great challenge: Movin
Meanwhile, the Independent Movement (Movin) considered that the president of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, has in his hands the judicial and perhaps political future of the country.
“With the resignation of the solicitor Kenya Porcell, the president will have the challenge of going through the National Assembly the almost total renovation of the judicial apparatus of the country,” said this group.
Given the fact that the Executive will have to appoint three main magistrates and six alternate magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, and that these must be ratified by the Assembly, Movin called both the Executive and the Legislative “to understand the moment Panama’s history and that our indicators on corruption and legal security issues are among the worst in the region, and that in general the legitimacy of our institutions is increasingly broken ”.
Roux asks for deep investigation
For his part, the president of the Democratic Change (CD) party, Romulo Roux, requested a thorough investigation of the alleged and “compromising” content of the talks between the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP), Kenya Porcell, and former president Varela.
Roux said that although it is necessary to investigate how the controversial conversations on the varelaleaks.com website ended, the contents that leave in evidence what was already denouncing the CD itself about a parallel attorney’s office could not be downplayed, selectivity in the application of justice or its use for political persecution.
He said that the attorney’s resignation should not be interpreted as the prelude to “impunity.”
“What is happening is what we have been denouncing for years, that there is really no objective justice here. The existence of this parallel prosecutor’s office is evident where the Executive had his hand directly in the Attorney General’s Office, where cases were set up in the Presidency and it could be decided through the President’s sole decision the Republic who was investigated and who was not, ”he said Roux
Request Special Prosecutor of Investigation
While the Other Way Movement, a political organization in the process of recognition as a party in formation, and led by former presidential candidate Ricardo Lombana, expressed deep concern over the fragile institutional situation facing Panamanian justice, and which now faces the resignation of the Attorney General of the Nation, in the midst of a scandal of leaking private communications.
“It has been exposed both an unfortunate plot of influence and political interference in judicial investigations, as well as the open violation of the privacy of personal communications that, in this case, reached, among others, a president of the Republic in office ”, Highlighted the group.
The Other Way Movement, “in the face of the already repeated lack of willingness to investigate corruption crimes in due form,” requested that the authorities, prior compliance with legal requirements, appoint an independent Special Prosecutor’s Office, with broad investigative powers of all acts of corruption committed in recent years, whoever falls falls, without distinction.
‘Filtration with destabilizing purposes’: Varela
For his part, former President Varela reacted to the announcement of the resignation made yesterday by Attorney Porcell, attributing the resignation as a result of communications leaks.
“The main objective of the leaks is undoubtedly to erode the credibility of our democratic institutions and divert attention to cases of corruption and fight against organized crime in the country, which has resulted in the resignation of the Attorney General General of the Nation, ”said Varela in the second statement he issued since the publication of the“ VarelaLeaks, ”on November 5.
For Varela, the leak has “purely destabilizing” purposes and accused the highest levels of the government of his predecessor, Ricardo Martinelli, of corruption that cost more than a billion dollars to the country.