AS PRESIDENT Juan Carlos Varela seeks to distance himself from “donations” from the Odebrecht construction company which since his election has received billions of dollars in government contracts, manager of Tocumen International Airport and treasurer of the Panameñista ruling party has admitted soliciting aid;
Carlos Duboy told La Prensa on Monday, December 11, that in 2008, when he served as deputy treasurer of the party, requested a donation from the scandal-plagued company.
The money, he said, was used to pay off debts from the primary election where Varela faced Alberto Vallarino to win the presidential candidacy for the 2009 elections. " I was not treasurer at that time. I was the sub-treasurer” he said.
“As a party in a difficult political contest, after the primaries, there was a lot of debt. It was a strong fight against Alberto Vallarino. That's where you get to knock on doors to entrepreneurs to ask for campaign donations".
Asked if he approached Odebrecht he replied: “ Yes. They did not want to give to the parties. No multinational company gives directly to the parties, but rather they look for local companies or consultancies. So that's why I receive two contributions: $50 000, and $100,000 in October 2008. and campaign commitments and debts were paid, I did not know what [Jaime] Lasso received. they register the contributions in the Electoral Tribunal and the sworn contributions statement was made in 2009.
Odebrecht is currently under investigation for alleged massive overcharges in the construction of a second terminal at Tocumen International.