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The sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli stand inside a holding cell. The sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, Ricardo and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, stand inside a holding cell after being detained on money-laundering charges, Guatemala City, July 7, 2020 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

The Corruption Obsession Is a Convenient Distraction

Opposing corruption in international forums is easy. Nobody is openly for it, and popular sentiment is strongly against it. Global public opinion surveys show that corruption is a primary concern of citizens all around the world, and a host of public ills can be attributed to it, from economic stagnation, to the global decline of trust in democracy and a range of other societal challenges.

And corruption does play a role in these issues, which is why it makes for such a convenient target. Major leaks exposing corruption have grabbed public attention and inspired a raft of policies aimed at calling out and sanctioning individuals, governments and business that have engaged in bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement, money laundering and a host of other abuses of public and private power. ...

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