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  1. 5 points
    As I write this, I am shaking my head. Another site hacked, this time one that hold passwords for thousands of people. What I am commenting on is a service called One Login. It is a password manager service. The idea is to keep all of your passwords in one place and have a program or app on your phone keep track of them so they can all be very long and different. You only need to remember the one password for the service and the rest is done for you. Well, OneLogin was broken into by hackers and all of the passwords, including the keys to unencrypt them, were exposed. If you have this service, you have already received an email about it. For the people that do not have that particular password manager but do use a similar service I would like to caution you with a bit of reasoning. The old saying is "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". A password manager does exactly that. It puts everything valuable in one place. You are then trusting some company to keep the passwords to all your valuable information safe. Consider this... if you are a hacker, it would make sense to attack the place where there are hundreds if not thousands of passwords rather than trying to get just one password of yours. Personally, I solve the problem of having different passwords on different sites by making a formula out of them. It is a rule that I apply to each website when they want me to create a password. If follow the rule, then each site then gets a unique password. I do not need to remember the password, instead I can recreate in my mind by remembering the simple rule. Here are a few examples: Let's say this is my formula to make a password for any web site I visit: First two letters of each word of the website name, followed by the year I was born, followed by a $ and then my initials in lower case Wells Fargo = WeFa56$DP Ebay = Eb56$DP Chiriqui Life = ChLi56$DP As you can see you end up with both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a special character ($). That meets all the recommendations and it is unique for each website. Now when I visit in the future, I just think the rule out and I can figure out my password without having it written down or stored in a password manager. You can add other things and mix it with your own variations to make your formula unique. Perhaps you want to use the first initial of all your kids names or maybe the last two letters of the website name. The idea is to create a simple rule that lets you create a password for each site and makes it unique. Keep the rule the same for every site and it will have enough variations to make a different password each time. By doing this, you no longer need the password manager service and all of your accounts will not suddenly be exposed with a single failure should it get hacked. It is something to consider. I have always said a password manager works right up until the company disappears or gets hacked. When that happens, you do not have to deal with a single exposure, you have to deal with EVERY site. In today's world, that can easily be 100s. Now... about saving the passwords in your web browser so you do not have to enter them each time - I will let you consider the risks when your computer goes into the shop for repair ! Stay safe and enjoy the day
  2. 4 points
    I think it is just human nature for one to find ways to justify difficult decisions and then vent to relieve the stress and frustration. I am one that is leaving Panama and while I could easily list a number of things I dislike or seemed senseless here in Panama, I am sure I could just as easily find faults in my new destination once I have lived there for an equal amount of time. All my life I have made a major move about once every 10 years and I could easily list faults and express frustration with each location. My personal decision to move on is based on what appears a better option both personally and financially. While Panama finally tipped the scale for me in a different direction and while some past experiences here in Panama played a part in predicting the future, I can't say I have any great displeasure with Panama as a whole. I could probably list just as many pros as cons. There are certainly things I will miss here and will likely be back to visit clients and friends. It does feels like there are a larger number of expats leaving at this time or at least a bit more than the normal turnover we have seen each year. I am very skeptical about how concerned Panama is about the number leaving the country. I am sure they are more concerned with other issues and the expats leaving is probably just a side effect of other policy decisions. If Panama teaches you anything, it is that everything changes constantly (both good & bad). It can change at a moments notice... or even with no notice at all. Rules and laws here seem to be only enforced when a situation becomes untenable. Typically enforcement is done for a short time and then, as with everything here, it changes again. Seemingly random and sometimes without good reason to those of us that are used to laws and regulations being hard and fast.
  3. 4 points
    Agree. That said, I didn't retire here to die early on the road. That was not part of the package I signed up for. One would expect average driving skills...or maybe a bit below. I could deal with that. What we witness is way way below average to the point of absurdly dangerous, and frankly I just don't understand it. It is what it is, I understand.
  4. 4 points
    I enjoyed the article. Far too many people were enticed to move to Panama because they were led to believe they could live above their means here. Those people have been gravely disappointed. Other people didn't do enough due diligence about what you should expect from roads, utilities, and emergency services here. They have been gravely disappointed. Other people didn't understand the bureaucratic complexities for all things from immigration to car registration. They have been gravely disappointed. But, the people who come here and can go with the flow and adjust their expectations will find a beautiful country with some wonderful people. There is an old saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Our decision to move here was a good one.
  5. 4 points
    We stopped in this church yesterday on the way to Penonome. Religious or not it is truely amazing. It's the first pueblo the spaniards established according to the locals. In 1520 they landed there. You can't see the Pacific from town but it is very close. Most of the church and most things inside are original. The stone wagon wheels are the best things displayed to me. In three years the church will be 500 years old! There is a huge original bronze statue there also. We got there at noon, walked in and they were baptizing kids. We stayed for the service. I'm not catholic but enjoyed the service. My girlfriend is catholic and she was amazed also. She had never seen this church and she is a Bouquetena. I did a blog on this before and it is worth mentioning again. If you're bored----take a ride to Nata. Nata is located between Santiago and Penonome----about 180 miles from Boquete more or less.
  6. 4 points
    I don't know how libel law in Panama is adjudicated, but I can say that if a legal system does not hold that truth is an absolute defense to a charge of slander or libel, it is not a justice system at all. It would be a system serving only the corrupt and powerful. If truth is not a defense, then anyone may successfully sue for being offended.
  7. 4 points
    Pondering this I can only reflect on thoughts Bill and I had when we first decided to reside outside of the USA for our retirement. Laws change, procedures change and the climate of life changes ..and possible more so in foreign countries. We were also aware that in spite of all our research we may have missed something. We knew that it might not be easy and at times frustrating but decided we would weather whatever transpired. It's been 10 yrs and some things have in fact changed and we did miss a few things we should have known I guess but we are happy here. Very happy. We've had some fun times navigating bumps in the road in fact !
  8. 4 points
    'Burocracia' by Rosa Marques, was a different entry on the subject in the Notodo Filmfest.
  9. 4 points
    You are welcome to go to the Prosecuters office at any time and look through the records yourself. They are open to anyone, they are PUBLIC FOR ALL TO SEE.
  10. 3 points
    On the surface, it would seem like a reasonable explanation Keith. But, when your meds arrive with an invoice from a reputable pharmacy with Rx # and doctors name you would think it would be a good start in verification that the meds weren't knock off. But, that's not enough. So, the customs agent asks for a letter from you verifying your identity, cedula, and intent to be the sole user of the meds. You give it, and that's not enough. So, then the customs agent asks for the prescription to be verified by a Panamanian doctor. I don't know yet if that will be enough, but I do know b.s. when I see it.
  11. 3 points
    Donald Trump's previous "cozy" relationship with Martinelli is pretty meaningless. He was cozy with the Clintons and anyone else who could further his interests at the time. This arrest could not have happened without the approval of President Trump. I assume the decision was made at the time Varela was invited to the White House. That corresponds with the time Martinelli was put under active US "surveillance." The reports that the timing of his arrest was moved up suggests that Martinelli realized that he was no longer safe hiding in plain sight in Miami. It's hard to imagine that he'll be released on bond, although he is certainly entitled to fight extradition in US court. But these recent events certainly indicate to me that Martinelli has no friends in the current US administration, and that his request for political asylum is effectively dead.
  12. 3 points
    I don't think it has anything to do with location. It's more a function of a person's ability to adapt. Those that make it here could probably make it anywhere ( mas o menos) because they have an innate ability to adapt and enjoy. Doesn't matter where you are ( well, OK, for me the primary demand is no snow!) if you have the mindset, you will be fine. I'm here and happy, but I'd be just as happy in Singapore.
  13. 3 points
    What I don't get is the people who walk behind my car when I am starting to back up. They don't seem to notice the back up lights and the car in motion. I look in all directions twice, then behind me a third time, then right and left to see if there is someone preparing to walk behind me. If being oblivious is a cultural trait, no thank you, I have no interest in participating in that.
  14. 3 points
    Interesting how people with a Panamanian spouse seem to think it's always our responsibility to embrace their culture.
  15. 3 points
  16. 3 points
    Agree. We've seen quite a few "happy attitudes" change through the years. Tunes they whistled soon got a bit off key and before you know it they were packing to leave with resentments along with their baggage.
  17. 3 points
    It may be time to start taking the old Boquete road by turning off the new one at Los Algarrobos. The right lane on the new road was closed for a about a mile getting into David due to construction at the new mall. Traffic was backed up. The good news is that this caused my being late getting to Pricesmart, entitling me to buy beer and wine at 11:00. Even better, Pricesmart actually had everything on my list. On my return to Boquete, both my driver's license and car insurance papers were checked at the Caldera cutoff. I don't know if the officer was bored, if I looked suspicious, or whether this heralds tougher scrutiny in all walks of life. Be prepared.
  18. 3 points
    I find this entire topic quite illuminating and disconcerting at the same time. As an "old timer" here in Boquete I remember the Peter Gordon incident very well. Thanks to Jim for posting some links to that history. I also remember my attorney back in those days telling me to be very careful about not violating the Panamanian libel and slander laws. This subject is very important and very relevant to me, given that I am one-half of the owners/administrators of CL. A bit of history here for those who might be interested. Most who read this post will not know any of this, but some of the older timers may. I owned and administered the Boquete.org website, which was one of two community information channels serving the Chiriqui highlands. Boquete.org was created in 2003. The other community channel is what is known today as News.Boquete that is administered by Penny Barrett. Back in those early days that mailing list was known as Hershel's List, being named after Hershel Stolebarger, who set it up and administered it. Hershel's list had about 300 subscribers, whereas Boquete.org had about 5,000 subscribers. (As an aside News.Boquete currently has just short of 1,900 subscribers.) I shut down Boquete.org (I seem to recall it was about late 2007 or possibly early 2008?) after being threatened with five different lawsuits by people, specifically businesses, in Boquete and in David based on claimed defamatory content that had been posted on Boquete.org by some of its members. I was the one threatened with the lawsuits because the offending libel was on Boquete.org, which I owned, and not because it was something I wrote or said. I have never forgotten two of the five interactions about the threatened lawsuits because of the knocking on my front door (both of those instances were on a Sunday) by attorneys and business owners. The emotional stress, the financial drain, the vague and much delayed rulings of the courts, etc., are just some of the reasons for me to avoid litigation. I was told by my then several attorneys that libel and slander are extremely serious matters in Panama, and that truth is not a defense. Now I read here differently. Whether something is true or not does not justify or warrant the damage done by libel or slander to one's reputation. Hmmmm, whom to believe and trust? As Paul Harvey used to say in his radio broadcasts: "now for the rest of the story." For me, I don't intend to test the murky waters of libel and slander litigation, but rather avoid that environment altogether if at all possible. This piece of history is a reason that CL comes down hard on its two guidelines: treat others with respect, and know and obey the law. [[To read the exact words of CL's guidelines, see http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/4-site-guidelines/.]] Going further, especially after reading Bonnie's reply: ... my experience also is that a denuncia is a public document. However, not many people go to the Personaria and review denuncias. But the main point here is that if one were to use a denuncia as a "weapon" to further libel or slander someone or a business, then my experience (and advice of my counsel) is that said person is committing a crime. The matter of truth is not resolved until a judge makes a final ruling, and said ruling is upheld (or not appealed). This then brings into question two more issues: is the ruling judge impartial, and whether the judge truly understands the entire scenario. Note further that my counsel has said that Panama courts do not make rulings based on case law, but only based on statutory law as understood by the judge at the time of the ruling. I will continue to watch this topic; however, I prefer not to change my modus operandi regarding protecting myself from litigation. Everyone gets to decide for themselves. Your mileage may vary.
  19. 2 points
    This is totally understandable. But I and many others don't understand the shotgun approach to the immigration and medication problems. The lack of notice too causes hardship. I've never subscribed to the cliche that we expats are "guests" of Panama; no one is putting us up. We're paying our way and paying taxes. But an important element of being a guest is the acceptance of hospitality. So even if you accept the proposition that we're guests, Panama is no longer hospitable in the way it once was. I am hopeful that this will run its course and that more level heads will prevail.
  20. 2 points
    Whysky, most of us try to abide by the laws of Panama. But, the problem here is that these rules seem to be invented by a bureaucrat based on his daily whims. As near as I can tell, all of the mail forwarding services were surprised by these new requirements. On any given day, you may or may not be able to obtain needed pharmaceuticals in Panama. These bureaucratic "whims" have a callous disregard for the health of people who are receiving prescriptions by mail. Your premise of adapting to and accepting the culture is quite similar to some comments that were made in a discussion last month regarding driving safety. When something is clearly screwed up, the right thing to do is to try to fix it. Death or departure are two alternatives that I prefer to avoid.
  21. 2 points
    Road Safety Education, an Unresolved Issue in Panama EFE | 11 Jun 2017 12.48pm People who are risking their lives crossing highways on foot, overtaking vehicles on the right, buses that dangerously exceed the speed limits... This is all in the day on the roads in Panama, a country that has, in road safety education, one of its major pending issues. "Since I've lived in Panama< i have not driven. I am afraid, people are very aggressive behind the steering wheel. Every time I go to take a taxi, I try to ride in a car with a seatbelt, but almost none have them in the rear," acknowledged to EFE a young European woman, who declined to give her name. In this small Central American country 440 people died last year in different traffic accidents, almost 20 more than in 2015. A not inconsiderable amount taking into account the fact that Panama is a country of just over 4 million inhabitants. So far this year, the figure already exceeds 200 people, according to the data of the transit authority (ATTT). The spokesman for the Movement of Victims of Violence Vial of Panama, Toribio Diaz, said in statements to EFE that the case of traffic accidents in Panama should be called "acts of violence" and that the knowledge of Panamanian society on how traffic works is "null". "Most of the victims are young people under the age of 30 years and this is due to the poor training and preparation they receive in driving schools (driving schools)," said Diaz. The association seeks, among other things, that there is certainty of punishment and that penalties be stiffened from 8 to 15 years for those drivers who cause fatal accidents by driving under the influence of alcohol or speeding. "Wrongful death by aggravating circumstances have a ridiculous sentence of between 3 and 5 years. Our criminal code punishes more to a person who has stolen a cow (livestock theft has a penalty of between 8 and 10 years) than someone who kills another person for driving at 160 kilometers per hour", said the activist. Looking at road mortality data, the situation is particularly bloody conflict for pedestrians, as deaths from abuse represent almost half of the total victims. Of the 440 deaths that took place last year, 196 were abuses, compared to 177 in 2015. So far this year, at least 68 pedestrians have lost their lives, according to data of the ATTT. The director of Road Safety Education and defense of the user of the institution, David Ramirez, said in an interview with Acan-Efe that has succeeded in reducing the mortality rate among motorcyclists and cyclists, as these represent only 3 % of the total deaths, but admitted that the overwhelming number of pedestrians remains worrying. "With motor cyclists we got it thanks to many campaigns to raise awareness about the use of helmets. Our strategy with pedestrians is focused in the schools because children are all pedestrians," Ramirez said. The official explained that the ATTT has an agreement signed with the Ministry of Education (MEDUCA) and since the start of the current Administration of Government, in July 2014, she teaches the basic concepts of road safety education in some schools of primary education. The goal, he added, is to turn children into the police of their own parents, so that they end up saying "Dad we will cross over the pedestrian crossing". For the association of victims, there are "too many" factors that explain the high numbers of abuses, among which are the little signals, the lack of sidewalks and traffic lights, and the limited public transport, which would help to all vehicle lights to decongest the streets. "Efforts are very isolated, but there is no legal mandate to promote road safety education in schools and public institutions. You need a real state policy that cannot be changed by the various governments," concluded the president of the victims. http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/educacion-vial-asignatura-pendiente-Panama_0_1034596883.html
  22. 2 points
    No new crashes !!...just the debris from past blasts and a few tire marks left on the slanted cement wall. In surfing we call that maneuver an "off the lip"..... Bill demonstrates how it's done. Very impressive in a car !!
  23. 2 points
    From what our lawyer tells us, Probate here can lag for as long as 8 years. Having end of life affairs all taken care of to include property issues is a very important thing. If either Bill or I passed away neither of us left would want to haggle down here for years getting property issues straight IF the survivor decided to return to the USA. It's worth the legal fees now to get that stuff taken care of.
  24. 2 points
    We had another lengthy outage here in Palo Alto early this morning. I turned off the UPS after an earlier outage so I could get some sleep, but awoke at 4:30 with an inoperable ceiling fan above my bed. When the power had not come on by 5:30, called the 315-7222 Fenosa number. After I had punched in a 1 upon prompt and the first three digits of my NIS number on the next prompt, a real live person came online. He spoke only Spanish, but he spoke clearly and slowly and was patient with me. He asked for my complete NIS number and then confirmed my name and location. He said he would report the outage and gave me a service call number. The power came back on about 7:30, and at 7:45 I received a telephone call from Fenosa confirming that I had electricity. I'm impressed.
  25. 2 points
    This is really a pain in the neck for me when returning home from downtown as I have to go over the bridge next to the fairgrounds. Since the street leading from the bridge is one-way by the park, it's always been a pain getting into town. Now it's a pain both ways. I have to go all around Robin Hood's barn. I'm SO glad the Panamonte Bridge is being built.
  26. 2 points
    We know one of those 80 Panamanians currently studying in Taiwan, and soon to be in China. She is Boqueteña and about 20 years old, with a full four year scholarship in engineering. This has to be exciting for her and her family. We wish all of them the best.
  27. 2 points
    The original article that prompted this discussion appeared in the Panamanian press and was authored by a Panamanian. The notion that driving skills here should be improved has absolutely nothing to do with Americans trying to impose their standards on others. The purpose of reporting local highway crashes and fatalities is to keep people informed of roadway dangers, and encourage defensive driving.
  28. 2 points
    worn out..... Well Bill and I are not yet even close to worn out living in Boquete. There have been bumps in the road, and a few potholes but now we tend to watch for them coming and swerve. BTW....some folks pay big money for "worn out". And, I think we could get worn out in the USA too...it would just cost us more. (like those worn out jeans there)
  29. 2 points
    What Jim and Nena said has merit. Expectations. One would think that power would be a constant. The situation might just get worse if growth continues with consumption of power ever increasing in this country. Dependence upon rain from the sky to power the hydo is another. Climates could change. I guess the constant is expectation that anything could change...and will. Nothing is constant. So the ability to go with the flow is the bottom line...anywhere. Some things we can not change and we should not expect to . Some things we can in fact assist in changing....but that is limited as well. What comes to mind is so many of the volunteer charities that have blossomed here in Boquete. That's a positive change happening. Sounds sorta like the Serenity Prayer ( ha ha ha)
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    Yes...there is definatly something to that ! Some friends came here and sang a happy tune, but in time left on a sour note, What is interesting is that once dust settled for them in their new location, the tune we heard from them was as well a bit off key. I guess location location location was not so much the factor.
  32. 2 points
    While we're on the subject, is anyone aware of a Fenosa phone number at which you can get an English-speaking rep? I have a number 777-6280 and the name Elicia, allegedly an English speaker, written on a Rolodex card, but when I called it this morning I got only Spanish and no option for English. I'm aware that you can dial the main number 315-7222 and, when prompted, dial 1, then dial the first three numbers of your NIS number, and follow that with three ones, after which you simply say "No hay luz." (The NIS number pinpoints the area.) But sometimes I want to actually talk to someone, and my Spanish breaks down completely over the phone.
  33. 2 points
    ALL countries should be interested in saving lives through better driving habits. I don't see this as a cultural issue.
  34. 2 points
    Jim and Nena...hey we ARE learning....learning how to drive while looking at all directions at once, counting on a dumb move when other options would be safer. Accepting that on any trip out of the house in my car I could lose my life and it probably wouldn't be my fault. ...and lastly: Panamanians who drive have enormous faith. Faith that a car won't be coming at them when they pass on a curve in the opposing lane while going uphill. This was my exact comment to my husband when we observed this on the curving hill while driving out of Boquete town when the road was still 2 lanes. I said: "One thing that can be said about Panamanian drivers.....they have enormous faith" His response? well it had something to do with the size of certain round male parts. Ok that said, I doubt anything we do will change thing quickly. I did think the cardboard cops on the roadside was a real good idea.
  35. 2 points
    This article is a decided improvement over Mr. Bolotin's usual publications, and I applaud him for it. It is my view, however, that adjustment to a foreign culture has less to do with a happy attitude and more to do with the stamina and resilience necessary in order to maintain that attitude.
  36. 2 points
    This is true in all locations where there are arrows painted on the pavement, tho most people either do not notice or understand their significance. If there are arrows painted on the pavement, those are the ONLY permitted directions. If there is not an arrow painted in the direction you want to turn but there are others painted arrows, then the turn you want to make is not permitted. A common and semi-humorous story is that when a gringo is pulled over for making such a turn, the gringo says there was no sign saying the turn WAS NOT permitted, to which the officer replies, there was no sign (painted on the street) saying it WAS permitted. A subtle but important difference. All permitted directions are shown whereas any other directions are not permitted.
  37. 2 points
    Bottom line...you want to live here, then apply for a visa. If not, then traveling as a tourist elsewhere must be the most logical option. Right now there seems to be no way around it. Not saying that it could change in time...but for the older retiree, there's not that kind of time to wait it out methinks. Bill and I traveled as young adults quite a bit. One thing we learned was, if you wish to reside in a foreign country, following their rules to the letter was the safest option.
  38. 2 points
    I have no intention of getting into a lengthy point/counterpoint exchange with Mr. Bolotin. My views of his website and publications are well-known by most readers here. I will make some points, however, before exiting this discussion. It is true that Mr. Bolotin has been courteous in all exchanges we have had, and a reading of my twelve posts in his newsletter reveals that I have returned the favor. Mr. Bolotin apparently failed to include in his “notes” a lengthy exchange between him, me, and other participants about his publication entitled “Expats: Expectations & Reality.” Several of us took exception to his research methodology, the faults of which were pointed out. His methods would not pass muster in the research community, and faulty research yields faulty results. We were particularly critical of his conclusions reached in response to the question, “If you could do it all over again, would you move abroad?” He reported that only 3.4% replied that they probably would not or absolutely would not. But, not having surveyed any of the hundreds of folks who left because they were unhappy abroad, the survey was meaningless. It goes without saying that the vast majority of those who stayed were happy. The "real" information would be how many left and why. In addition to noting faults with the research, we cited many examples from among the Boquete populace that demonstrate that more people come and leave than people who come and stay—just the opposite of conclusions reached in his study. Understandably, because he had so much invested in the study, he refused to acknowledge that our points had any validity. As succinctly as I can, I will state my objections to the Best Places in the World to Retire website. What began as a site for expats to respond to questions of potential importance to those considering expatriation was taken over by persons with a personal, financial interest in a continuing influx of expats. These persons, naturally, put a positive spin on everything. Some of the false or misleading answers are simply laughable, but others –such as those dealing with crime and education—are shameless falsifications that could drastically alter the outcome of someone’s life if believed. All responses that obscure or downplay elements of life abroad rob readers of information that is vital to their understanding of whether or not the expatriate life is a fit for them. In my ten years here, I have met too many people who sold their homes, liquefied their assets, pulled up roots, and moved abroad only to find that they were sold a bill of goods, were not prepared or adaptable to life as it truly is here. Those who incurred the expense and stress of moving back, not to mention those who could not afford to move back, are legion. And they are sad, sad cases. As owner and publisher of the website and the BPWTR studies, I believe that Mr. Bolotin has a responsibility to live up to his motto that his is a “site that potential expats trust” and that he provides “credible information about living overseas” by conducting credible research and by limiting the influence of business interests in the question and answer forum. A “huckster” is defined as a salesman; some definitions include showy methods or misleading facts to be part and parcel of a huckster’s salesmanship.
  39. 2 points
    Hi Folks! When I have to do any kind of business at any government office/agency I go knowing that I will spend the whole day, if I am lucky, at this office/agency. Some years ago when I was still young and impatient I usually loose my temper and argued, complained and I was the whole day with a bad mood. I criticized from head to toe all the incredible bureaucracy and tramitology of those offices/agencies of the government. Did it helped me to solve the problem? To do everything faster? NO! So my temper was very affected. Now that I am getting "gray and older" I decided that no one will kill me of a stroke or heart attack. I go with a mental state knowing that I have to patient. Almost like a Saint. That if I get mad at some officer/employee I could be punished by leaving my business in the last position. I go knowing that I will loose a lot of precious working and productive hours of my time there. So I go prepared with a book or something to distract myself while waiting, a good attitude, a big smile and listening other people complaining and criticizing. If get all my business done in a "decent time" I will feel happy and lucky. If it took more time of the expected... well resignation and when I have everything done.... I will complain, yell and criticize to death the system, people, bureaucracy and everybody including the people who sells chichas and empanadas. Some managers and administrators put attention to the procedures and not on the final goal. So in order to have control measures they create a lot of paperwork that sometimes are redudant, ridicule and not worthy the paper it is filled with. President Martinelli had a goal to make a paperless government or digital procedure and started to do something in that direction but president Varela with its slogan of doing a transparent government and to eliminate corruption stopped the project and in some places the paper work has increase. In the construction industry we have about 28 agencies/paperwork to do before starting the real construction of such project. It is something that our people at the construction chamber is crying aloud to the government agencies involved to solve. But... it is the way it is.... we dont like it very much.... but we will keep on the fight to make things more quick and swift to do in Panama instead of that huge bureacracy and paperworks we are immersed today.
  40. 2 points
    Yesterday it took 10 minutes to have Migration in David stamp our E-cedula visa status in our new Passports just received via DSL in the mail. We left the office singing and dancing. That had to be some kind of a record. Two people served in 10 minutes by the nicest lady behind the Migration desk....AND to receive renewed Passports by mail? We are pinching ourselves.
  41. 2 points
    Back in 2007-2008, a wealthy Canadian (or maybe Australian) expat named Peter Gordon was sued by HSBC bank for criticizing the bank on a public forum. I don't remember the outcome, but I recall that all his assets, held in a private foundation, were frozen while the case was pending and that the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the freezing of the assets. Mr. Gordon's issue, as I recall, was what he considered to be exorbitant bank fees and other instances of less than friendly customer service. This is the case that scared the beegeezus out of expats and forms the basis for the widespread fear of the injuria y calumnia law today.
  42. 2 points
    To the best of my knowledge, these laws were put in place to discourage politicians from making false or derogatory statements about their opponents, but some unscrupulous business people also threaten to use them when faced with an unhappy client with whom they've had a disagreement.
  43. 2 points
    Thanks Keith! I do not read anything in that link that refers to filing a Denuncia as being slander. Simply a filed, legal, complaint. Sunshine has done the community a service of posting it! Good for them, and hope they get what is owed to them.
  44. 2 points
    Yes, that was me that posted the Denuncia, . As this is a matter of public record in Panama, attached is a denuncia against the owners of Casa Decor, John and Patsi Phillips. We've tried everything to resolve this matter privately for a very lengthy time. Please feel free to contact me privately if you are going through the same issue. We will add you to our list. cherylacg@yahoo.com It is our desire that other people don't go through what we have been through this last year. denuncia-copy.pdf
  45. 2 points
    JimAndNena, You wrote: "One additional point to remember with government services is the multiple "windows" required. Each window has a specific task and requires specific paperwork. One must get through the windows in the correct order to win the prize. And the person at any window can change at any time so as they say, "Variety is the spice of life"." I obtained my permanent residency visa over four years ago, it required two days at immigration (for the Friendly Nations Visa) and if I recall correctly we had to visit at least four windows each day. At that time you could arrive early and obtain the necessary tickets for each window that you needed to visit for the entire day. In fact my attorney asked me to obtain additional tickets for their other clients. With all low number tickets you essentially flew through the process in only a couple of hours. Now I've been told that you're only allowed to obtain a ticket for the next step in your process, no more obtaining all of them early with low numbers. This has drastically increased the time for processing. I have a couple of friends that have stated that they were there from open to close. I couldn't imagine. And on one occasion we forgot to obtain a ticket for a specific window and my attorney asked me for $10 and purchased a low number ticket from someone they knew, I guess there used to be scalpers there! The good ole days!
  46. 2 points
    Thanks for this discussion. I am not sure I know exactly what to do next (once we arrive), but I have a good idea of the pitfalls.
  47. 2 points
    Funny, but I remember it being easier a decade ago. My husband and I got our visa at the old immigration office on, I believe, the Via Rapida in David and our driver's licenses in the Chiriqui Mall.
  48. 2 points
    It was more difficult a decade ago. Not impossible but many hoops to jump through to get the Panamanian Driver's license, then in Panama City. The procedure was a tad different for foreigners. If you asked a local you ended up running around from office to office and some of them wrong or in the wrong order. Visas came slower then as well. Generally it seems a bit easier now with more information out there for folks in the process of retiring in Panama. If you did not speak Spanish and had a shitty lawyer back then, you could really get all screwed up.
  49. 2 points
    That is true. If you obtain your permanent residency status before actually moving to Panama, that 30 days may very well be over even before you arrive. Drive at your own risk using your passport and hope to hell you can get your drivers license before a policeman does anything more than a cursory inspection at a checkpoint or traffic stop.
  50. 2 points
    You are correct and it's excellent advice to research more than one source. That said, folks new to the country tend to trust their lawyer. Our friend contacted his attorney from the USA after we informed him of the need for a multi entry stamp on his passport. He immediately got on the phone with his lawyer and was told it was not necessary. At that point his visa was still in the works and would have been possible. It's really unfortunate but our friend was in fact fined . This is one of the problems new folks who are still working and closing up affairs in their home country face when they begin process and have to leave, come back & possibly leave again. Having his car impounded was the final blow when he finally got here and was driving in his first couple of months figuring with his Jubilado Visa and a Florida Driver's license he was good to go. These things happen to the best of us....this man was no dummy. He has a PhD. He had good friends that advised him...yet still got stung......twice.