Ex- President Varela and brother knew of Odebrecht multi-mil...| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 01 April 2023 08:14 GMT

Ex- President Varela and brother knew of Odebrecht multi-million dollar backdoor payments to campaigns

(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama) President Varela and brother aware of Odebrecht multi-million dollar contributions to election  campaigns ex-Ambassador

Juan Carlos Varela, former president 2009-2014, and his brother and deputy José Luis Varela, were aware of the contributions made by the Odebrecht company to the Panamenista in Party, in which both had been president.

Former ambassador to South Korea, Jaime Lasso, a link between the company and prominent members of the group confessed to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office that the only ones he talked with about, the financial contributions he received from the Brazilian construction company, were the Varela brothers. "I did not relate to anyone else or talk to anyone else," said the doctor on February 17 to prosecutor  Zuleyka Moore, in the extension of the investigation for alleged money laundering crimes.

Odebrecht transferred approximately $ 6.7 million to accounts related to the Panamanian Party or its members through Lasso, who served as a fundraiser for the collective's campaigns in 2009, when they joined Democratic Change (CD), and for 2014 when Odebrecht was responsible for paying some suppliers of promotional items that were used by candidates for popular election positions.

José Luis Varela did not dare to comment on Lasso's statement, because he has not had access to the file reports La Estrella. When asked whether he knew the amount of the contributions, he referred to prior public statements of the party. He declined to comment. La Estrella tried to contact former president Varela, but although he read WhatsApp messages, he did not respond.

According to the investigation to which 'La Decana' had access, the money from Odebrecht deposited in the account of Don James Foundation in the United States, whose signer was Doctor Lasso, was transferred to the candidate for vice president Juan Carlos Varela, when the collective Panameñista joined Democratic Change and achieved victory in the 2009 election campaign.

The ambassador's damning declaration presents dates and amounts of checks deposited in the account of Juan Carlos, when he was vice-president in the Martinelli administration and when running for president.



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