If you were a playwright, you'd wish you'd have written this. As the drug-money laundering indictment against now-infamous pyramid schemer money-launderer David Murcia comes down in U.S. federal court, the Panamanian press buzzes amidst new revelations of links between this illicit businessman, state security forces and Panamanian politicians.
Some of the highest ranking leaders of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI in its Spanish initials) were arrested for their alleged role in providing the equivalent of Panamanian Secret Service protection to Murcia. From La Prensa in Panama (Spanish only):
The controversial Colombian prisoner was able to penetrate the highest spheres of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI), the specialized entity in charge of security for the Presidency of the Republic.
Yesterday the disciplinary body of the SPI detained at its operations center in Corozal two agency directors, Joseph Antoine y Luis Almengor, both for links to the network of agents who served as protection for Murcia, without presidential authorization, as the La Prensa put forth yesterday.
Even though it sounds a lot like another country nearby with which Bush administration negotiated an FTA, infiltration of organized crime into the highest levels of the Panamanian state security apparatus should raise eyebrows.
La Estrella reports that agents seems to have been present in meetings between Murcia and Panamanian politicians, and reminds us that it's not the first time the SPI is in hot water:
The image of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) has been tarnished yet again with accusations of SPI agents who protected Colombian businessman David Murcia Guzman in their spare time, in violation of SPI code.