Welcome to Panama, Casablanca without heroes.

A Harry Pendel quote from The Tailor of Panama. I love that movie. Two of my favourite actors: Geoffrey Rush and Pierce Brosnan. A colonial feel. A folk tale: “When they took Noriega out, I said to myself, Harry, they got Ali Baba, but they missed the forty thieves.” Yes, the forty thieves are still running around!


September 2011 I wrote: Can I borrow your name? http://eternaltraveler.8archer.com/2011/09/can-i-borrow-your-name/ 4,5 years later, I almost forgot about it. Trying to move on from the past. And then came the Panama Papers.

I don’t know how I feel about this. My name still shows up. I am sure he is linked to the Panama Papers. When I spoke to the Federal Police 16 years ago (another fiscal fraud scandal he was involved in and even named in the papers), they thought he was a fictional person. They certainly know how to do research…

It’s like the two workmen who were at my house 2 weeks ago. I was very ill, and asked them to start with a “small” job that I had done already many times: unclog the evacuation of the (old) waste pipe towards the septic tank. I showed them where the opening was to access the pipe. Gave them the tools and went to lie down on my couch, just being sick. A 5 minute job. 20 minutes later I did not hear them starting the paint job in my workshop. So I went to look outside. Oh, they said, it is so badly clogged it is like hitting a wall. They were pushing the wrong direction – towards the street! I told them the septic tank was the other side. No, they said, it must go that way (the street). Of course, they are men, so they should know better, and I am just a stupid woman who has unclogged that pipe already 20 times, and even had a discovery done for the septic tank (paved with stones!) In stead of coming to ask for advice, they just kept on hitting a wall. Well, this stubborn are those researchers too. They don’t listen to advice given to them. Because they certainly know which is the right path to follow! Or do they?

So today I sit here with mixed feelings. I remember when I got threatened because I was asking too many questions. I remember when his former business partner got threatened because he was going to witness in a court case (against the client). I remember weird fatal accidents of bankers involved. I remember how long it took to believe I was not going insane. That this was true. Not something imaginary. I remember how hurt and cheated I felt. And stupid for not having (or wanting to have?) seen what was happening. How when you live in an unreal world (a fiscal paradise), you lose your sense of reality and proportion and you can no longer tell what is normal and what is bizarre. I was young when I moved there, with very little adult life experience.

I wrote my two children with links to the google results on my name and his name. To please do something better with their life. Make a honest living. Contribute to society. That there is an ugly side to luxury and lots of money: child labour, slave labour, illegal activities, …

The Panama Papers… I wonder how the story will continue. Most likely it will be covered up. Like the other financial crime scandals. I apologise, I just want to go on with my humble, simple life. I eventually will find a way to give this a louder voice. For now, I talk about my experience. Give my view. I still meet lots of indifference.

Fiscal paradises are often sunny places for shady people. I am still looking for that sunny place for sunny people!


About Claire

As an eternal traveler and restless soul, I am always searching for ways to design my life. I have lived and worked in 7 different countries, and traveled to many more. Discovering new places, new people is what I love. My favourite thing is checking out local supermarkets for food products, have a taste of the local cuisine, and look at the arts & crafts shops. Of course a bit of sightseeing (historical, cultural, pure design, artistic,...) is a must too. Inspired to work with semi-precious metals, wood and other recycled materials, I have turned my creative energies towards craft based design, setting up a home and workshop in the countryside. Appropriately, My name means Hope. "Hope is the dream of a soul awake" is the personal statement. With Eternal Traveler - Design your life! I aspire to create a creative environment for functional art and life design. And with this reach out to like minded people.
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2 Responses to Welcome to Panama, Casablanca without heroes.

  1. Susan Grossey says:

    You know how I feel about all of this, Claire – your bravery and determination are to be lauded. And from what I can tell, your children have listened to you. Please do speak out as loudly as you can against financial crime – we all know the damage it does, not just to the victims but to our societies in general. Money stolen by crooks (and I include in that tax that is evaded) is not spent on the common good, like roads and hospitals and schools and care for refugees.

    • Claire Claire says:

      Thanks Susan! I try to speak out whenever I can.
      Everyone can do little things like stop buying products from these companies, eg. AB Inbev. There are lot of small independent brewers that have delicious beer. By buying AB Inbev beer, you are supporting fiscal fraud.

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