On 25 January, the US State Department advised the designation of former President of Panama 2009-2014, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, 70, for his involvement in significant corruption. Specifically, it says, Martinelli accepted bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his tenure as the President. The allegations relate to being involved in a bribery scandal of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. This was on the same day that his 2 sons returned to Panama after serving a sentence in New York for laundering millions of dollars in bribes from Odebrecht (they are due in court in Panama the next day, and are currently on parole). The State Department designation also extends to “close relatives”, prohibiting them from entering US territory.