Solidaridad in Panama to ensure local ownership

The international news was dominated by the so-called “Panama Papers” this week which reveal the creation of over 200,000 offshore companies by law firms in Panama for the purpose of tax avoidance, or non-transparent or even illegal operations. Solidaridad also has a legal entity in Panama for the establishment of our Latin American continental office. We would like to emphasize that this office is not associated in any way with these type of issues.

The reason for Solidaridad to establish an entity in Panama was – in line with our vision on Southern ownership – to create Solidaridad Latin America. Panama has been chosen as location for the legal entity of this branch because their local laws offer the best possibilities in Latin America for financial administration and management. The fact that the country has a relatively stable currency (the USD) prevents losses resulting from currency fluctuations. Establishing a legal entity in Panama is relatively cost effective. We aspire to spend a maximum share of Solidaridad funds on our mission.

A mission which is in sharp contrast with the activities of companies and wealthy people trying to avoid taxes, working with illicit finances and conducting money laundering through the creation of offshore companies. These are activities that Solidaridad does not want to be associated with in any way. Tax avoidance is simply not in question for our operations in Panama. The activities of Solidaridad in Panama (financial transactions) are per definition not taxable. Not in Panama, and not in any other part of the world. So this has not influenced our decisions in any way.

Solidaridad aims to be fully transparent about the Panamanian foundation. The accounts of the foundation in Panama are public and audited by an independent auditor. Solidaridad only works with legal funding from impeccable origin and spends it on the implementation of our programmes. Sources can be found in the financial statements.

Follow the links for more information on Solidaridads structure and financial statements

The accounts of the foundation in Panama are public and can be found here.

These regional annual accounts are the consolidation of the individual annual accounts of the Solidaridad offices in the region: Argentine, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia and Guatemala. This consolidated regional annual account also includes direct payments of the region to projects in other parts of the world. The accounts of all Solidaridad offices, as consolidated in this report, are public and audited by internationally renowned accountancy firms. The regional consolidated account is audited by Baker Tilly, a leading international accountancy firm.

The Board of Directors of the foundation in Panama consists of representation from the directors of the Solidaridad offices in the region. This in line with Solidaridad’s vision of local ownership and governance.

The Board of Directors is supervised by a Supervisory Board. The statutes and bylaws of the foundation in Panama are public; 2009 and 2015 as are the regulations.