Earlier this week, 11.5 million confidential files were leaked from a law firm in Panama, Mossack Fonseca. Since this leak of the so called “Panama Papers,” several world leaders have been accused of hiding their wealth in offshore bank accounts. While many world leaders have tarnished their reputations, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been in the spotlight.
In 2011, Sander’s warned the United States government that Panama was “a world leader when it comes to allowing large corporations and wealthy Americans to evade US taxes.” In light of the recent scandal, Sanders has used this leak to promote his message of wealth inequality in the United States.
“I was opposed to the Panama Free Trade Agreement from day one,” said Sanders. A recent video was trending on Facebook showing Sanders address the senate, warning them that this agreement would allow for the rich to avoid paying taxes. In a statement released by Sanders, he promised that the trade agreement would be ended within his first six months in office.
This scandal also set up Senator Sanders to attack his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Clinton opposed the agreement, however then changed her opinion when she became Secretary of State. In all these recent developments, Sanders further labeled Clinton as unreliable and untrustworthy.
The Panama Papers were provided by a German newspaper and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 143 politicians and 12 political leaders were among those accused of using Panama’s lose laws to avoid taxes.