Panama Connected To Colombian Intelligence In Order To Fight Crime: Martinelli

By Dialogo
May 14, 2010

Panamanian police forces have obtained access to the database of the Colombian intelligence service DAS in order to monitor the entry of Colombians into Panama and control crime, Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli declared. “We’re now connected to the DAS (secret service) database in Colombia. I told the (Colombian) ambassador (in Panama, Gina Benedetti), ‘Look, ma’am, either you let us connect, or I’m going to have to impose visa requirements on Colombians,’ and now they’ve given it to us,” Martinelli declared in an interview with the Telemetro television network. The connection will provide “access to the database of everyone who has committed a crime in Colombia” and will enable immigration agents to detect them when they try to enter Panama, Martinelli said. In recent weeks three corpses cut into pieces have been found in Panama, which the authorities attribute to a struggle for control of the drug routes from Colombia to North America, leading Martinelli to announce a new “war without quarter” against organized crime. In Panama there are “whole families dedicated to laundering money,” and the police are “infiltrated by drug-trafficking elements,” Martinelli affirmed. He also said that he hoped that “the democratic forces in Colombia are not dismantled and the forces of evil do not start to prosper” as a result of the upcoming Colombian elections, in an apparent allusion to his desire that the next president maintain incumbent Álvaro Uribe’s actions against organized crime.