AMERICA / PANAMA – Archbishop of Panama: “We have a corrupt society and no one is taking the first step to transform it”


AMERICA / PANAMA – Archbishop of Panama: “We have a corrupt society and no one is taking the first step to transform it”


Panama City (Agenzia Fides) – The Archbishop of Panama, Mgr. José Domingo Ulloa, made a strong appeal to the Panamanians to tackle and solve the “big problem” of corruption which afflicts the country and the society, and that, he said, passes above all by know how to choose its leaders. “Corruption is a real problem, and right now the big problem is that we have a corrupt society, that’s the truth,” Bishop Ulloa told reporters after presiding over the Eucharistic celebration last Sunday. “This is why I believe that we are called to choose who represents us, so that no one complains”, declared the prelate. The Panamanian Archbishop’s appeal is part of a series of scandals linked to alleged acts of corruption, which came to light in local media during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of them have led to the dismissal of health officials due to conflicts of interest. However, the phenomenon of corruption in Panama is not recent: a survey by the Spanish research firm GAD3, carried out at the request of the Panamanian newspaper “La Prensa”, published last May, revealed that 71.1% of respondents link the current government of Laurentino Cortizo to corruption, while 15.8% are indifferent. For years, Panama has been rocked by corruption scandals, with a judicial response, in many cases characterized in unison with impunity, and social inequality that does not diminish despite the economic growth that has marked the countries over the past decade. For Mgr Ulloa, this situation is unfortunately “only the reflection of what we are unfortunately as a society, a corrupt society, which then complains about certain corrupt, but where no one takes the first step to transform it”. Last Tuesday, August 31, the President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, declared the fight against corruption in his government which, he recalled, promotes transparency in public management. “I will not tolerate any act of corruption. The related complaints have been lodged in collaboration with the investigating authorities,” said Cortizo, who took office in July 2019 for a five-year term. (EC) (Agenzia Fides, 03/09/2021)

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