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Panamanian Pres. Ricardo Martinelli Wanted DEA to Wiretap Political Opponents

Panama Pres. Ricardo Martinelli/wikipedia photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Good or bad, one thing is certain: The WikiLeaks documents are pretty fascinating.

One of the latest ones of interest has surfaced in some publications including  the Washington Post, which reports that Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was trying to put the squeeze on the DEA to wiretap his political opponents.

“He clearly made no distinction between legitimate security targets and political enemies,” then-U.S. Ambassador Barbara Stephenson wrote in her Aug. 22, 2009 report, the Post reported.

The Post reported that Martinelli via a BlackBerry message wrote to Stephenson: “I need help tapping phones.”

In her cable, the U.S. ambassador said Martinelli’s requests were rebuffed, the Post reported.

“We will not be party to any effort to expand wiretaps to domestic political targets,” Stephenson wrote.

Another cable reported that head of the Mexican military told U.S. authorities last year that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, moved around a lot and was “difficult” to capture because he surrounds himself with hundreds of armed men and a sophisticated web of snitches, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

Related Story: Cables Portray Extended Reach of DEA (NY Times)


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