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How is it a Dutch businessman is about to achieve what even Christopher Columbus could not?

The answer is simple: CORRUPTION. Following the trail is more complicated, but searching through the Panama Papers, government records, and more, a clear pattern emerges.

“In 2008, [Van Rijswijk] managed to acquire 1,400 acres of land across seven farms under the guise of of seven separate foundations  He acquired them for only $3,834. He carried out these transfers in spite of an order by the first Anticorruption Prosecutor of the Attorney General’s Office of Panama to confiscate real estate that was subject to investigation for fraudulent titles that affected, and still affect, dozens of families between Calovébora River and Belén River, in north Veraguas.”

Explore, see videos and Learn More: Atlantic Conquest

We are proud to have collaborated with La Prensa, ACD Panama, & Connectas in creating this Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting expose.