Dangerous Societies: The Story Behind the Panama Papers
(Sociedades peligrosas. La historia detrás de los Panama Papers)
Biographies and Personalities / Commercial Non-Fiction
The Panama Papers, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
In this book, uncover the secrets of the famous journalistic investigation known as The Panama Papers. The book’s authors are from the Panama newspaper La Prensa, the only local paper to be involved in the international investigation.
The story starts when the lawyer Jürgen Mossack, son of a Nazi, visits the La Prensa offices in an attempt to dissuade the directors from prolonging the outrage towards his firm and its illegal financial dealings with politicians, pedophiles, drug traffickers, multinationals and banks. We know now that Mossack was not successful in his plea. Why not? How was the massive leak orchestrated? Who was interested in revealing which hundreds of well-known people had assets in tax havens?
Rita Vásquez and J. Scott Bronstein know exactly how to answer these questions. Before committing full-time to journalism, Vásquez worked in the offshore industry for several years. In this book, they will explore the collusion and collaborations from which The Panama Papers (Obermaier & Obermayer, 2016) was born and beyond. They tell the story of the lawyer’s office whose main job was to cover up being intermediaries to criminals, including Guatemalan drug trafficker Marllory Chacon Rossell or Rafael Caro Quintero, whom Mossack said made Pablo Escobar “look like a baby”.
After detailing how the investigation came to be, Vásquez tells of the difficulties she faced losing professional and personal relationships as many saw her as a traitor to her profession and her country. The investigation would not only put Panama up against the rest of the world, but Panamanians too, even though the authors defend throughout their country, a country which was exploited to develop these “dangerous societies”.