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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/29/2017 in Posts

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 3 points
    Interesting how people with a Panamanian spouse seem to think it's always our responsibility to embrace their culture.
  10. 3 points
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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 !!
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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)
  24. 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)
  25. 2 points
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 2 points
    ALL countries should be interested in saving lives through better driving habits. I don't see this as a cultural issue.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 1 point
    On July 4th the speaker on Tuesday at the BCP will be Tom McCormick who gives a very interesting and funny talk on Panamanian culture. At least the backwoods or interior kind of culture. Here's the write-up: Tuesday, July 4 – Tom McCormack will tell us all about Panamanian legends, wives tales, myths, and superstitions. This is a very entertaining talk and will teach us all something about this place we call home.
  36. 1 point
    Moderator comment: this posting and the associated replies were split out from a different topic because the content went off-topic. The subject of the source topic was delays in bringing items in through customs. I agree on the patience factor.....especially with the potholes. It helps to have eyes like an eagle and a good memory.
  37. 1 point
    Maybe I missed something? Why the postings on pot holes in the Delays in Customs category? Is the message that Customs is a pot hole? Need help to understand.
  38. 1 point
    Yes Judy, if you notice they seem to grow fairly quickly. There are about 5 in a row on the hwy coming up to Boquete from Brisas. A few look like they could cause some serious tire damage.
  39. 1 point
    So let them be angry. They should know the traffic laws and, for heaven's sake, there have been enough warnings about how not to park at BCP. And it's downright dangerous around Sugar 'n' Spice because of the poor parking, largely by gringos. If gringos are violating the traffic laws, it's unfair to attribute a ticket to an officer who "dislikes gringos." I suspect it's going to take tickets, trips to David, and fines to bring some folks to their senses. Expats are always complaining about the driving habits of Panamanians, but maybe they should take a good look at themselves.
  40. 1 point
    The question begs, then, is the signage perhaps purposely confusing or lacking so as to provide a revenue stream via tickets? I want to drive by the rules but seems, by the comments here, the rules are not concise. Are the rules of the road and signage definitions published somewhere rather than just painted on the streets?
  41. 1 point
    I always stop at pedestrian crosswalks, but I've noticed that few people do. Speaking of how long it takes to drive through town these days, on Thursday I saw no fewer than three cars parked in traffic lanes with no driver present, backing up traffic quite some distance. This happened, incidentally, while I was driving all over town trying to get to the bridge to come home.
  42. 1 point
    I know, Keith. But nobody knew anything about it until you told us. Ignorance of the law is my excuse. Expats are used to looking for signs, not paint in the road. Because of the number of tourists here, I think it would be smart to post some signs--particularly noting which streets are one way. I've seen many a person make a right at the La Bruna corner going north and nearly hit a taxi or transport bus head on.
  43. 1 point
    The pricing at Gago is really interesting. Some things are priced in the ozone and other things are low compared to anywhere else in Chiriqui. There is one item that we buy there regularly that is half the price of any other stores selling it. I won't tell what it is because they would jack the price if they read CL.
  44. 1 point
    No. This is a very dangerous rumor because anyone who believes it is going to get burned. The current state of affairs is that US. citizens (and some other nationalities) are allowed to stay only 180 days in Panama on a tourist visa, after which time they are required to stay out of the country for a month before being allowed to return on a tourist visa. Out of the 180 days, their driver's license is good for only 90 days. The real concern is why some people are not allowed to return after having been away for over a month. There are a few cases that suggest that the country is flagging those persons who have been living here on a tourist visa for a long time and, when they show up after the one month away, not allowing them reentry as tourists. They appear to be doing this on a case-by-case basis as no general rule has been forthcoming. I think anyone who has been here on a tourist visa for more than two or three years is at risk of being denied reentry unless they can show that they have applied for permanent residency.
  45. 1 point
    The ATP Tourism Authority showed off a new look at the Immigration area of Paso Canoas which includes a replacement facade, paint, washrooms, parking and A/C.
  46. 1 point
    I'm am only guessing here, but putting lots of stuff together, how about this scenario? The U.S. Embassy wrote, in a March 7 email, that the following information had been obtained from Panamanian authorities: " According to the Duty Chief at Migracion-Paso Canoas, the PNM Immigration Director is enforcing these migratory requirements across Panama. This means that if an Immigration Official determines that a foreigner is using tourism status to reside in Panama, the entry will not be allowed." This appears to open the door to denying re-entry to anyone with multiple re-entry stamps on their passport. But I've heard no reports of persons being denied re-entry based on this. But it's possible that long-term "tourists"--like the citizen above who admits to having lived here for 10 years on a tourist visa--were singled out for scrutiny when they sought to return to Panama. If, as reported by Siempre Soluciones, some Panamanians were schooled in accessing and interpreting FBI crime records, it's possible that those persons re-entering as tourists with lots of "border hopping" stamps on their passports could have been flagged and checked. Criminal records checks have never been required for a tourist visa, so any criminal record would not have been an issue previously. The first-time discovery of such a criminal record could lead to a refusal to grant re-entry. (I realize that this doesn't solve the question of arrest vs. conviction, but I'm thinking that the petitioner may have misspoken in the email to me.) This may be just another futile effort on my part to apply logic to governmental decisions. And I confess to being obsessed with understanding exactly how Panama intends to interpret this new approach to tourism visas and what's its effect will be on U.S. citizens residing here.
  47. 1 point
    It is a long read, but very interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/01/brazil-operation-car-wash-is-this-the-biggest-corruption-scandal-in-history?CMP=share_btn_link
  48. 1 point
    It does say criminal conviction in that link, not arrest record. Those can be two entirely different things. I wonder if the people detained and sent back had actual convictions. Are you able to contact the person that sent you the email to get any more information?
  49. 1 point
    Sorry I didn't get back in time to clear up your confusion, Bud. Yes, I was not referring to content being deleted from CL. I never for a minute thought that would happen. I finally did see the rest of the post on Bonnie's link that was not complementary to the Panama "education" system.
  50. 1 point
    Personally, I enjoy the articles sent out by Chuck Bolotin. They're both entertaining and occasionally informative.