The Pandora Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on Sunday revealed that thirty-five world leaders, including 14 from Latin America, worked in tax havens to avoid public scrutiny.
Of the 14 Latin American leaders, 11 have already left power and three are still active: Ecuadorean Guillermo LassoAnd Chilean Sebastian Pinera The Dominican Luis AbenaderThe Washington Post, El País, BBC and The Guardian who took part in the investigation revealed it.
The Pandora Papers revealed how the global elite used a network of trusts and shell companies in places like the British Virgin Islands, Panama or South Dakota. in the United States to avoid paying taxes.
The investigation is based on 11.9 million files from 14 law firms that set up companies in tax havens and represents the largest leak in history, surpassing the “Panama Papers” published in 2016 that opened a global debate on corruption.
Fourteen Latin American leaders
One of the regions that features prominently in the research is Latin America with a total of 14 leaders mentioned: three are still active (Pinera, Lasso and Abenader) and 11 have already left power.
Among these 11 former presidents Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski; Honduran Porfirio Lobo; Colombians Cesar Gaviria and Andres Pastrana; Paraguay Horacio Cartes, Panamanians Juan Carlos Varela, Ricardo Martinelli and Ernesto Perez Baladares.
In case PineraChilean media CIPER and LaBot revealed that the president had done business in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands, and among those companies was the sale of the Dominga mining project, an operation in which businessman Carlos Alberto Delano, one of his childhood friends, was involved.
Pinera His family is the largest contributor to Dominga projectBut months after arriving in the Palacio de La Moneda, Piñera sold the mining project to Délano under a contract signed in Chile for $14 million and another in the British Virgin Islands for $138 million.
The payment was to be made in three installments, although the final installment was based on not establishing an environmental protection zone for this mining project, as requested by environmental groups and something Pinera decided not to establish, according to CIPER and LaBot.
Another of the active bosses to appear in the archive is lassowho was a banker and came to operate 14 companies registered in tax havens, according to El Universo newspaper, which explains that the president got rid of these entities in 2017 before running for election.
For his part, Abenader appears to be linked to two secret societies in Panama, which were set up before he took power last year, according to a report with Alicia Ortega of Noticias Sin.
According to this investigation, Abinader appears as a beneficiary of these entities since 2018, three years after the entry of a law obligating companies to disclose their owners.
Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico
Similarly, the investigation of Armando.info He reveals that a Panamanian law firm called Alcogal helped Venezuelan officials set up 78 secret firms to hide $2,000 million from Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in Andorra.
The pandora leaves They also question the activities of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, and the head of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto in Brazil. As well as the activities in Argentina of Chancellor Jaime Duran Barba, close confidant of former President Mauricio Macri, and the late Daniel Muñoz, former secretary of former President Nestor Kirchner.
In addition, three of Mexico’s richest men appear in the archives: mining magnate German Larry Mota Velasco, heiress to beer group Modelo, Maria Asunción Aramurozapala, and Oligario Vázquez Alder, who controls hotels, insurance companies and the media, El País reported.
From Tony Blair to Julio Iglesias
The files are also spread in well-known faces such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn; And singers Julio Iglesias and Shakira or Pep Guardiola, coach of Manchester City.
Among other things, the investigation revealed that King Abdullah II of Jordan allegedly spent $100 million on luxury homes in California and elsewhere; He drew new details about the main foreign donors from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
The files also reveal suspicious financial activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the “unofficial propaganda minister”.
Similarly, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the inner circle of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, which includes members of his government and their families, has hidden millions of dollars in companies and entities outside the country.
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