Temas Especiales

22 de Jan de 2021


Hacking Team wanted to negotiate with Varela’s government

Leaked documents from the ‘hacking’ of Hacking Team show the explicit interest in the ex-president and his private secretary

Hacking Team wanted to negotiate with Varela’s government
On paper, the Italian system bought from the Ricardo Martinelli administration were for their usage in the Security Council, governed between 2012 and 2014 by Gustavo Pérez (right) and Alejandro Garúz (left).

The ex-president Ricardo Martinelli was in a hurry to acquire a system for wiretapping and other spying functions and the italian company Hacking Team facilitated the process.

As evidence by the emails exchanged between the company and its representatives in Panama, leaked after the hack on Sunday and available on the Internet.

On April 1st, 2011, Martinelli and Jaime Caicedo, representative of Robotec in Panama, met to negotiate the terms of the terms of the purchase of technical equipment.

The then president had such an expectation that he asked for the capabilities of the system to be incremented which was being sold: he wanted 40 profiles to be spied and intervene with the platforms Windows 32, Windows 64, Macs, Blackberries, iPhones and Androids. He asked for maintenance three times a year.

According to the information consulted, Hacking Team confirmed to Caicedo that they would assess their services for no less than 500 thousand euros. On the following May, the first bill was turned for 518 thousand euros, in the name of Theola Ltd., one of the societies with which the Government of Panama triangulated their payment.

A month and a half later, the system acquired from Italy arrived at Casco Viejo. Hacking Team asked the government to sign a confidentiality agreement in the Ministry of the Presidency as the ‘end-user’ of the software. An official, by the name of Juan José Carrión, stamped his signature as the ‘IT Director’.

The contract included training for two people and an annual payment for maintenance of 140 thousand euros. The total cost of the equipment for spying that Martinelli wanted was of 750 thousand euros.


Martinelli ordered his particular secretary Adolfo ‘Chichi’ De Obarrio to resolve with the representatives of Hacking Team in Panama, the first difficulties that the equipment was facing.

The ‘hacked’ database reveals that Martinelli told De Obarrio via telephone that they should suspend any purchase until further notice and the technical difficulties presented by the espionage program in the phones, should be resolved. The software was tested in the mobiles of ‘Chichi’ De Obarrio and two others: Carlos Arjona and Ricardo Espinosa.

A source consulted by La Estrella de Panamá about this case, pointed to Arjona being one of the two that flew to Milán in 2013 for ‘Advanced Training’.

He flew to Europe because in 2012, the discussions between Hacking Team and its representatives in Panamá were centered in the inconveniences the system was giving, in part because of the inexperience and the lack of training from the two operators.

Even with the training, in 2014, weeks before leaving office, Martinelli became disenchanted by the platform and suspended the payment of the maintenance.


Nevertheless, a week after Juan Carlos Varela took office, Hacking Team heard from Panama.

A businessman from information security, Erick Pérez, raised in a missive to Hacking Team their interest in serving as a link between the company and the new government. Pérez presented their company, Quadrian Enterprises, as a provider of technology for the administration of Varela, and mentioned having a ‘close relationship’ with the Ministry of Security.

‘I have never negotiated with Hacking Team. It was just to explore the competition and know who were their representatives in Panama,’ said Pérez in an interview with this journal.

However, the contract didn’t lead anywhere. In another leaked document, the directives of Hacking Team suspect Pérez for the ‘loss’ of their equipment with the software that was sold to Martinelli.

Pérez denies this sharply, declaring that his relationship with the company never surpassed those two emails in July. The report of the company Hacking Team on the loss of the equipment happened in December of the same year.

‘It’s not only a problem if we remain on the margin,’ responded one of the directives of Hacking Team, who seemed worried because in Panama there was a stir due to the discovery of Martinelli’s spying strategy, case which is now being dealt with by Justice.

In another email, the company Hacking Team registers having knowledge of the new government investigating about the loss of the machine, and asked for all channels of communication who asked to be closed.



Electoral Court notifies Martinelli of criminal lawlessness

The Electoral Court (TE) set off the rising edicto of the criminal court of of former president Ricardo Martinelli. This way, he was notified, informed a source from the TE.

Since Martinelli wasn’t informed personally, a 48-hour compass is necessary which will expire Thursday to complete the judicial protocol.

The Supreme Court of Justice initiated a process against Martinelli precisely because of telephone interventions of politicians, businessmen and social communicators during his mandate, evidenced by the Security Council.

Next Monday and Tuesday are the days enabled for the transfer to be answered.

For this case, the ex-directors of the Council, Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz, were detained.

Martinelli left Panama on January 28 of this year and it seems that he’s in the USA. The ex-mandate claims that the processes against him are part of a political persecution strategy.

Related Article: Hacking Team quiso negociar con el gobierno de Varela