JOURNAL LIFE

Panama hides fortunes of thieves but could not earn enough for own people

The wealthiest people of the world, politicians and businessman’s secret datas are hidden in ‘tax havens’. One of these countries, which sat on the agenda of the world, with 11.5 million confidential documents a year ago: Panama. Poverty is one of the biggest problems of this tax haven that come from the confidential laws of the home of global corruption, money launderers, corrupt politicians, drug dealers, fraudsters.

Panama, which hosts the secret wealth of the rich, is a country full of poverty and disturbing contrasts. Panama, a small country in Central America, came to light just one year ago, with documents leaking from Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest law firm, last April. Documents belonging to 214,000 frontal companies were linked to citizens of more than 200 countries.

The documents obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung were shared with 370 journalists from 76 countries through the International Researching Journalists Consortium (ICIJ). Secret financial connections of more than 128 politicians, have emerged as a result of the investigations.

Growth is not reflecting to locals

According to leaked documents seemed to be the executives of the frontal companies set up in Panama were Panamanian citizens on the paper,

It was also a striking fact that these managers were signatories to dozens of companies, for perhaps at a very low price as $ 125. A year passed after the Panama Documents. What has changed since then in Panama? The IMF expects economic growth in the country to grow to 5.1 percent this year and 5.5 percent in the middle-cap with an expanded Panama Channel and various investment projects. The country has grown twice as fast in the last 15 years than the other countries in the region. But in Panama, despite growing, the poverty rates are very high.

Locals are poorer

According to the 2008 Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) data, 28.6% of the population in the country is poor and 11.7% is extremely poor. The poverty rate is higher in rural areas. 45.8% of the population in rural areas is poor. 23.6 percent live in extreme poverty.

The latest data from the Panama Ministry of Finance show that in 2015, 22.3 percent of the population is poor and 10.3 percent is extremely poor.

Panama is also a transit point for immigrants trying to progress in America. The poverty rate among the indigenous population is higher. According to ECLAC data, more than 80.5 per cent of Panama’s indigenous people live below the poverty line and 51.9 per cent are extremely poor. In recent years it has been stated that rural migration increases to the city.

According to the information given in the International Anti-Corruption Conference held in December last year, about 40 percent of Panamanian people live below the poverty line and this statistic is rising to 65 percent in rural areas.

Does not share accounts

On October 27, 2016, the Panamanian government signed a multilateral agreement to share foreign taxpayers to third countries however, they refused to adopt a worldwide exchange of information on bank accounts. They stated that they will provide limited information. In Transparency International’s 2016 corruption index, Panama ranks 87th out of 176 countries.

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