DECEMBER 28, 2005
In an effort to pressure Latin America to battle corruption, the United States created a policy of denying tourist visas to the region’s corrupt government officials. In fact, the U.S. has recently revoked the visas of at least three former Central American presidents?Nicaragua’s Arnoldo Aleman, Guatemala’s Alfonso Portillo and Panama’s Ernesto Perez.
But the recent visa revocation of a Panamanian Supreme Court Magistrate has launched controversy and criticism from officials and media in that country.
Besides the rampant corruption in the Panamanian judicial system, the judge (Winston Spadafora) has a documented history of taking bribes from drug traffickers, money launderers and gun-runners. So, it only makes sense that we keep him out of our country.
Not surprisingly, Panamanian officials have denounced
the accusations and visa denial, with one political heavyweight calling it an aberration and public blackmail.
According to an article in the Panama News, one of Spadafora’s fellow judges called the U.S. move “Judicial terrorism.”
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