Seeds: Recently, new documents called the Panama Papers were leaked, revealing truths about an international law firm. International firms rarely come under fire for enabling politicians, criminals, and the exorbitantly wealthy to do illicit activities simply because they are good at what they do, keeping things quiet. Therefore, the Panama Papers offer unique insight about both the corrupt dealings of many officials and how much of an effect these illegal dealings have on their respective countries.
Core: 11 million documents have been leaked to a German news source from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak, Libya's former head of state Muammar Gaddafi and Syria's current president Bashar al-Assad are a few of the prominent leaders who have had significant relations with the firm. The documents reveal details about money laundering, tax evasion, sex-trafficking, bribery, fraud, drug trafficking, and sanction-dodging all around the world. They also include details of the dealings of mafia members, drug dealers, politicians, celebrities and your average billionaires. Furthermore, facts were revealed about a billion dollar money laundering ring in Russia that involved close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Skin: Interestingly, there has been no mention of the Panama Papers on major news sources such as the New York Times, CNN, or Fox News. Whether these channels don't wish to encourage this exposition, or are simply focused on headlining stories about the 2016 election cannot be determined.
Leaves: If the international community does not begin to hold these individuals and groups accountable for their actions, many will continue to suffer. Furthermore, the less obviously harmful action of tax evasion can result in significant economic distress. For example, when the extremely wealthy do not pay their taxes, hospitals and infrastructure can't be funded, negatively affecting the general public.
Food For Thought: Have you read some of the findings in the Panama Papers? What do you think the international community should do? How do we hold accountable foreign leaders when international law is so difficult to navigate?
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.