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Posts posted by Moderator_02

  1. Quote

    Judge nixes escape move of ex-Minister


    Posted 26/01/2020

    The Fourth Criminal Court rejected three incidents that sought to declare the process prescribed for alleged of corruption that follows Erick Francisco Alvarado, Bolívar Espino and Osiris Herrera, as part of the case of former Labor Minister  Alma Cortes of unjustified enrichment.

    Judge Yamileth Robles denied the three incidents in a ruling on January 14.

    The defendants alleged that the “facts investigated cover the period between June 1, 2009, and May 31, 2015, and to date more than 8 years have elapsed without there being any event that interrupts the limitation period”, which as they say, it is 6 years.

    However, the judge concluded that the date that applies to the prescription is the beginning of the case, in 2015, and not when the wrongful act was perpetrated, in 2009, as the defendants allege.

    The process began in 2015, after an audit of the Comptroller General, asked to investigate Cortes for alleged unjustified enrichment.

    The investigation established that, as a representative of the Foundation for Human and Environmental Development, Bolívar Espino wrote checks to Cortes for $17,000 and $16,000; while Alvarado Santos, who also acted as representative of that foundation, deposited two checks for $16,000 that were endorsed by Osiris Herrera and deposited in the former minister's accounts.



  2. Quote

    Manslaughter charges for truck driver in two-death crash


    Posted 26/01/2020

    The driver of a speeding truck that crossed the highway in Chame and demolished a sedan, killing two passengers a 12-year-old and an adult , and seriously injuring the driver on Saturday, Jan. 25 has been charged with manslaughter and is in preventive detention. The severely injured driver of the car was trapped in the wreckage and had ro be pried out by Fire Service personnel using the “jaws of life."



  3. Quote

    All Asian travelers under scrutiny in Panama

    Posted 26/01/2020

    TRAVELERS arriving in Panama have to  complete  a  health survey  says the Ministry of Health (Minsa)

    The Ministry of Health (Minsa) announced that it prepared a health survey for the traveler, which asks each of the people from Asian countries and whose destination is Panama. This form must be filled out mandatory.

    In the statement, the Minsa requests that the name, ID/passport, nationality, age, sex, address in Panama, telephone, airline, and flight number.

    After receiving the credentials, the Minsa asks if the traveler, in the last 15 days, has been in the countries that have reported with the new coronavirus.

    In addition, it asks if the traveler has had any of the following symptoms in the last 48 hours: fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or if he has been in contact with someone who has these symptoms in the last 15 days.

    The declaration must bear the signature of the traveler and the date on which he enters the country. This signature states that "the traveler declares under the gravity of the oath that the information provided" is true and that he accepts that the false declaration will be considered a violation of the international health code of the Minsa, "the entity said in a statement.

    The objective of the form is to identify potential travelers at risk of developing or developing the new coronavirus, so the following recommendations should be followed:

    The new coronavirus that affected about 2,000 people in China and killed more than 50.

    It appeared in Wuhan (center) last December. The virus is transmitted between humans and generates serious respiratory problems.

    Meanwhile the United States announces that it will evacuate its citizens from the epicenter of the coronavirus



  4. Quote

    Comptroller orders audit of $13 billion public projects


    Posted 26/01/2020

    PANAMA  Comptroller, Gerardo Solís, has ordered an audit of the $13 billion invested in public works in the last 10 years.

    “As it is possible that the public debt rose to approximately $32 billion while $13 billion was in public works ... we will see how much their value really was, ”said Solis.

    The statements came during a work tour of Veraguas, where he met with staff of the Comptroller in the province.

    Solís also indicated that there are works  in Veraguas that "are wrong, like many other works in the country."



  5. Quote

    Justice delayed fans impunity

    Posted 26/01/2020

    Seneca already said: “ Nothing is so much like injustice as late justice" And our Supreme Court of Justice, in addition to fanning impunity, when it tries to do justice ends in a cartoon, because many of its decisions arrive so late that they end up being unfair to their protagonists. And of these failures abound, some of them, emblematic, like the one that decreed the nullity of the land concession contract where the Playa Bonita hotel was built, in Veracruz; or the case of the law contract with the mining company Petaquilla - which now has Minera Panama in limbo -; or the few failures that cancel environmental impact studies when the projects they refer to have been executed, or a very recent one, in which the Court lost jurisdiction, after years of having the Cemis case in its hands. And now the magistrates issue a ruling on a land conflict in Darien that comes with years of delay and that will probably cause new conflicts, as they already occurred in the past in this same controversy, in which several settlers were accused of having invaded land Indigenous people in Darién. Doing justice is a privilege, but doing it late is a mockery.- LA  PRENSA,  Jan.26



  6. Quote

    Shriners doctors will evaluate children for free US treatment

    Posted 26/01/2020

    Doctors from Shriners Hospital for Children of Shreveport, USA, will be in Panama to do evaluations of children for entry into their program. These assessments will be made from February 10 to 13, at the Hospital del Nino (Children's Hospital)l.)

    Parents or guardians of a child with limited financial resources, should call 315-1515.

    Medical evaluation and treatments are free for benefited children.



  7. Quote

    Health Ministry urges respiratory disease preventive steps


    Celebrating the Year of the Metal Rat in Panama

    Posted 25/01/2020

    While Panama’s Chinese community celebrated Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 25  as cases of coronavirus continue to appear around the world, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) has urged people to follow preventive measures for any type of respiratory disease.

    Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

    Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze with tissues or with your forearm.

     Avoid close contact with anyone with the flu or cold symptoms.

    Cook the meat and eggs well.

    Use protection when having contact with live, wild or farm animals.

    In China,  the coronavirus has so far caused 41 deaths and some  1500 people have been hospitalized while the government is building a massive new emergency center to deal with anticipated cases.

    There have been reports of people affected by the virus. in Australia. France the United States. Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore 



  8. Quote

    Busted car-theft network with municipal links


    Posted 25/01/2020

    Municipal  officials are being investigated for links to a network of car thieves uncovered by the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) which recovered six stolen cars with a double identity record.

    Three suspects have been detained, and the DIJ is investigating the alleged participation of municipal officials.

    Operation  "Diamond", was executed in f Bocas del Toro, Colón, Darién and Panama City, where two of the vehicles recovered were used in armed robbery, while four had a double identity. through fraudulent documents.



  9. Quote

    Two  dead one seriously hurt in highway crash


    Posted 25/01/2020

    A  12-year-old child- and an adult were killed and a third person seriously injured when their sedan was hit by a speeding truck on the Inter-America highway in Gorgona, Chame district  on Saturday morning, January 25. The accident caused a massive traffic jam as the injured person was extracted from the wreckage and transferred to the hospital in La Chorrera.



  10. Quote

    OPINION:  $40 million unplanned handouts


    President holds discretionary purse

    Posted 25/01/2020

    The scope of the presidential power in a centralist state is extensive and varied. Thus, the discretionary departure of the Presidency of the Republic confirms the inefficiency of the government apparatus, which does not have the speed of reaction or the ability to manage in the face of various situations, which are answered from the Presidency.

    The government of Cortizo has spent four million dollars of the discretionary game in the first six months of its mandate. An important part, paying debts of the government of Juan Carlos Varela, and another, assuming costs of health services, scholarships and awards that ordinary institutions do not contemplate.

    The generosity and sensitivity of the President on duty, with the taxes paid by Panamanians, force us to ask ourselves a question: if these needs are predictable, why are they not included in the general state budget? In the era of the containment of public spending, at this speed, President Cortizo will use during his term, about $40 million that could very well be allocated to other uses or perhaps to other entities that, with the same or greater sensitivity, could meet the needs of Panamanians without the touch of a presidential favor.-LA PRENSA, Jan. 25



  11. Quote

    At least 17 homeless after city  blaze


    Posted 24/01/2020

    At least 17 people including four older adults and two minors were left homeless after a fire that started at noon in the El Trocadero building on Calle 14 Santa Ana on Friday. January

    The housing ministry is expected to have the exact figures of those affected on Saturday.

    With more than four firefighting vehicles, the Panama Fire Department put out the fire in the 8-D building near Calle 14, Santa Ana.

    Fire Service personnel from Calidonia, Plaza Amador, Balboa and Carrasquilla were called to control the flames in the three-story building.

    Specialists of the Fire Department are investigating the causes of the fire.



  12. Quote

    71 grassland fires in Cocle in 3 weeks



    Posted 24/01/2020

    Some 71 grassland fires have been recorded the province of Coclé in the first three weeks of the year says Fire Department colonel Roderick Salcedo,  head of the Regional Zone

    He said that the dry season has arrived very quickly and this has as led to people started the bad practice of burning their boundaries and farmland in order to clean them up.

    He recommended that people who clean their land to keep a minimum of five meters from their boundary, to prevent fires reaching their residence.

    During 2019, there were  6,299 fires of this type throughout the country



  13. Quote

    Panama   public debt surges past $31 billion


    Posted 24/01/2020

    The balance of the debt of Panama’s non-financial public sector closed 2019 at $ a record 31,018.5 billion, reports the Directorate of Public Financing.

    At the end of 2018, the country's commitments were  $25,686.9 billion, so in a single year, public sector debt increased by $5,331.6 billion.

    The bulk of the increase occurred in the second half of the year, under the Cortizo administration ..

    The Government chose to issue national and international debt to cover the budgetary needs of 2019 and to settle accounts with banks, Social Security Fund and various government providers that were not included in the balance sheets.

    This exercise of balancing outstanding accounts has resulted in an increase in registered debt, which by the end of 2019, will have exceeded 40% of gross domestic product. Reports La Prensa/

    Panama   public debt surges past $31 million



  14. Quote

    Rules for Trading Bovine Meat in Panama

    The Executive will present to the Assembly a proposal that seeks to typify the carcasses and the nomenclature of beef cuts, with the objective of establishing quality parameters in the local market.

    Thursday, January 23, 2020

    The bill, which must be approved by the National Assembly, takes up the legislation that was repealed in 2013 to return to the classification of meat, which will help producers to sell on the international market and invest in quality, reported the Panamanian government.

    You may be interested in "Beef Meat: Regional Sales up to March 2019"

    From the MIDA statement:

    January 22nd, 2020. The Cabinet Council approved this Tuesday the bill No. 02-20, which establishes the classification of carcasses and the nomenclature of beef cuts, which is an instrument that will modernize the national livestock, allowing the establishment of quality parameters that benefit the Panamanian producer and consumer.

    The standard will facilitate commercialization in the international market, and its objective is to update the classifications of cattlecarcasses and cuts for wholesale and retail sale in the local market, as well as the requirements established for imported cattle carcasses and cuts.

    The project seeks to establish a compulsory system for classifying cattle carcasses, create a nomenclature of cattle cuts, protect and guarantee that information on cattle cuts purchased by consumers complies with the law, and provide cattle producers with guidance on the quality of meat required by consumers.

    Read full statement (In Spanish).



  15. Quote

    Clothing: New Investment in Panama Announced

    The Swedish chain of stores Hennes and Mauritz announced that among its expansion plans is the opening of a sales point in Panama, which would be the first in Central America.

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    According to an official statement that was released in mid-January, the plan of the company Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) is that its first store in the region will be open to the public by the end of the year.

    You may be interested in "Shoes: Top Players in Panama"

    Elcapitalfinanciero.com reports that "... The Swedish firm has signed a franchise agreement in Central America with Hola Moda, a company founded by the Phoenix and Dorben groups that operates international fashion brands in 15 countries in that region."

    Mehdi Beneddine, president of Hola Moda, said that "... We are honored and excited about the opportunity to bring H&M to Central America, providing the communities we serve with unparalleled fashion and quality at the best price."

    In Latin America, H&M has a presence in countries such as Chile, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.


  16. Quote

    Pork: Import Investigation Requested

    Arguing that imports may be close to reaching the level of automatic activation of the special safeguard mechanism, the Panamanian government ordered an investigation into pork purchases made from companies in the United States.

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    The General Directorate of Trade Defence has analyzed the information available through periodic reports requested from the National Customs Authority on imports of the goods described above and has submitted a report warning that such imports may be close to reaching the level of automatic activation of the special agricultural safeguard mechanism, explains the resolution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MICI).

    See "Central America Consumes More Pork Meat"

    According to Resolution No. 001 of January 13, 2020, which was published on January 16 in the Official Digital Journal, the investigation will be conducted in an abbreviated form.

    The official document states that "... orders the initiation of an ex officio investigation through a summary and abbreviated procedure to confirm if the activation level of the special agricultural safeguard mechanism established in the Trade Promotion Treaty in force between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America is fulfilled, for the tariff items of pork meat subject to this mechanism according to Article 3.17 and Annex 3.17 of said agreement."

    Prensa.com review that "... Once the safeguard is activated, importers would have to pay a regular tariff between 40% and 70% to introduce pork into Panama. The measure would apply to pork in the canal or half-canal, leg, shoulder, and their bone-in pieces, hams, and pork ribs."

    See Resolution No. 001 (in Spanish).



  17. Quote

    Panama shows little progress in fight against corruption


    Posted 23/01/2020

    Panama continues its slide down the corruption scale and now stands in the 101st position of 180 countries evaluated by Transparency International. (TI). It shares this position with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Peru and Thailand.

    During a Thursday. January 23 presentation by the Foundation for the Development of Citizen Freedom, the, Panamanian Chapter of Transparency International 

    The report shows that in 2019 Panama obtained a rating of 36 points (on a scale where 0 is higher perception and 100 lower  The country 6 points below the regional average of 43 Panama has gone down, as it is among the countries that have achieved little or no results in the fight against corruption said Olga de Obaldía, executive director




    On 1/17/2020 at 8:54 AM, Moderator_02 said:



    Ex-drugs prosecutor with crime links in detention


    Posted 23/01/2020

    Panama’s Superior Court of Appeals has confirmed the decision of the Judge of Guarantees to order the provisional detention of former drugs prosecutor José Varela Alvarado, accused of corruption of public servants.

    At the hearing, different investigative acts were listed, such as: data seizure, surveillance and monitoring, and wiretapping. In addition, the Court said, the measure is necessary and proportional to the nature of the event.

    The Judicial Branch said that there are procedural dangers such as: the destruction of evidence that implies the possibility of destruction of material evidence and danger to the community.

    The investigation began on December 23, 2019, after an anonymous call that notified the Superior Drug Prosecutor's Office, which alleged that an MP official was allegedly giving sensitive information in exchange for financial compensation to persons linked to investigations. for drug-related crimes.



  19. On 1/20/2020 at 8:02 AM, Moderator_02 said:



    Aeronaval  agent detained on day police capt victim buried


    Posted 23/01/2020

    A agent of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) presumed responsible for the traffic accident that killed a National Police captain will remain in detention for six months in while the Public Prosecutor's Office continues investigations this fact. The accident that claimed the captain's life left the defendant and seven others with injuries including a 30-year-old woman in a delicate condition, happened last Saturday night, in the community of El Caño de Natá in the province of Coclé. The victim worked in the province of Veraguas and was buried at a ceremony attended by President Cortizo on  Wednesday  January 23, the day preventive detention was confirmed



  20. Quote

    Temperature check for Air China Tocumen arrivals


    Posted 23/01/2020

    Ministry of Health personnel of the ) took the temperatures of 20 Air China passengers who arrived in  Panama on  Thursday, January 23, on a  flight from Beijing, with a stopover in Houston, US.

    “All passengers had a temperature below 35 degrees Celsius. That means that none of them have a feverish picture, ”said a ministry press release.

    Passengers would also have taken the temperature in Beijing, before takeoff, and on the stopover in Houston, Texas.

    There were  292 people on the flight  but only 20 stayed in Panama.

    The temperature taking, with a digital thermometer, is part of the international protocol that will be used with each of the international flights that arrive in Panama with passengers from China, due to the outbreak of coronavirus that has killed 18 people and infected over 700.

    Temperatures were also taken of passengers who arrived on flights from Europe.



  21. Quote

    New airport terminal 99% complete after 7 years


    Posted 22/01/2020

    After seven years of construction, six addenda and a delay of four years, the 116, 000 thousand square meters new passenger terminal at Tocumen International Airport is 99% complete.

    During a tour of the project on Wednesday, January 22, Enrique Villegas, vice president of projects at Tocumen SA, commented that Odebrecht has completed 47% of the pending work.

    After February 29, Tocumen begins a verification period of all systems, finishes and other operational areas of the new terminal. “ If we are not satisfied, then the airport can ask the contractor to fix it, Villegas said.



  22. Quote

    Lawyer who  moved multi-million Martinelli era bribes stays in jail


    Posted 22/01/2020

    The lawyer Mauricio Cort y García managed, received and transferred the “ illegal funds ” received through a public limited company - Arados del Plata, SA -, with bank accounts in other jurisdictions, for “illegal payments” to “senior officials ”in the administration of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014)  the  Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor told to the Supreme court

    The court reviewed the situation of Cort, in a habeas corpus presented by his lawyer  The plenary session - with a presentation by Abel Zamorano - considered the provisional detention ordered by the prosecutor's office legal, which investigates Cort as part of the file for the possible extra cost in awarding the contract for the preservation of the Historical Heritage of Panama City.

    The lawyer is charged with the alleged commission of corruption offenses of a civil servant and prosecuted for embezzlement and has been detained since August last year.

    The contract was signed on May 19, 2011, by the then Minister of Public Works, Federico Suárez -also arrested-, and, Julio Casla representative of the Spanish FCC

    The investigation includes sworn statements by Casla and Eugenio Del Barrio (also from FCC) in which they say their immediate boss Avelino Acero met Pepe Suárez at the time, “who communicates that in order for the State to pay debts of projects prior to the five-year period 2009-2014, a 10% premium had to be paid and that same percentage would be applied to new projects that would be awarded to large companies, pointing out Odebrecht and Ica-Meco ”.

    "It was an imposition that was transmitted to us and that, if we did not agree to it, we would not get what we were owed and would make it difficult for us to process all the files and, in the end, we could not return to work in Panama," Casla said. .

    “The figure that should be put in the economic offer was communicated so that everyone would carry similar figures and in addition to the 10% payment on the projects that would be awarded in the case of the sections of Via Brazil,” said the prosecutor's office to the full Court.

    Both Casla and Del Barrio said that instructions were given on the flow of funds: they should be made through the company Arados del Plata, SA and the person designated as “interlocutor” with the minister was  Mauricio Cort.

    They met with Cort on several occasions to "verify" the amounts that should be deposited with Arados del Plata, "as well as the signing of fictitious contracts that sought to justify these payments, in addition to confirming that there was an extra cost in the rearrangement projects in Panama City, since the payment of bribes should be incorporated ”.

    Section II of the Vía Brasil corridor was assigned to FCC for $174.5 million, but the work ended up costing $216 million.

    The Casco Viejo project was awarded for almost $255.5 million but had an alleged overpricing of $51.5 million.

    Cort's defense said, his client has already been sentenced to 48 months in prison as part of an agreement within the process for Odebrechtbribes, for which he would be incurring double prosecution.

    The ruling declaring Cort’s detention legal, dated December 10 was signed by Zamorano (rapporteur), Olmedo Arrocha, Cecilio Cedalise, Hernán De León, Harry Díaz, Luis Ramón Fábrega, Jerónimo Mejía, and Ángela Russo. José Ayú Prado saved the vote.

    Cort also appears in the so-called Blue Apple case reports La Pensa.



  23. Quote

    Blitz to recover $280 million social security payments from delinquent businesses


    Posted 22/01/2020

    With the threat that in three years the reserves of Panama’s Social Security Fund  (CSS) will have dried up, the agency deployed hundreds of operatives on  Monday, Jan 21 to knock on doors of delinquent businesses that collectively owe over $280 million.

    On Wednesday, it announced that all its agencies are authorized to make payments, whether partial or complete, of the debts that are owed to the entity.

    Those who have outstanding accounts with the CSS are urged to catch up and "thus help keep the finances of this social security institution healthy," said an agency statement.

    According to the latest report on late payment to the entity there is about $280 million made up of worker contributions that have already been deducted and not reported and the contributions that employers are required to provide by law.

    On January 14, CSS Director  Enrique Lau Cortés, revealed that for two years the reserves of the pension program are being used and that they will be exhausted in 2023.



  24. Quote

    Repeat sex crimes teen behind bars


    Posted 22/01/2020

    A young male adult who was ordered to receive psychological treatment after posting videos of himself molesting women in shopping malls is now in preventive detention after being accused of a fresh offense of libidinous acts involving a girl under 12.

    He was previously prosecuted for the crime of gender violence after the videos went viral on social networks.

     San Miguelito Prosecutor Virginia Escobar, requested the  provisional detention from  Judge of  Guarantees, Yarabí Quijano.

    Escobar requested the provisional detention measure because the accused represents a danger to the community and has incurred a repetitive action., which instead of ceasing is increasing, being the second time the victim is a minor. The latest incident occurred two weeks before Christmas, when the accused, violently grabbed the victim, squeezed her hard and smashed her against a wall to then carry out the crime. The facts were reported by the victim's mother who provided a video of the incident.

    The accused has  a precautionary measure of reporting, for psychological treatment and not using any electronic communication equipment.



  25. Quote

    Wuhan virus first case in Americas as deah toll reaches 17


    Posted 22/01/2020

    An epidemiological alert has been issued in Panama and countries of the  Americas after it was confirmed on  Tuesday that the new Wuhan virus, which has already left 17 dead in China and hundreds of people affected, has crossed the Pacific.

    The confirmation came from the United States Disease Control Center (CDC), which reported that the first case was diagnosed in a 30-year-old man residing in Seatle, Washington State.

    Wuhan, in China, was the epicenter of the outbreak that emerged in December 2019, with hundreds of recorded infections. The cause: a new coronavirus called 2019-nCov, which is transmitted between humans and causes respiratory diseases.

    Confirmation of the first case in the United States (EU) arises after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that member countries strengthen surveillance activities to detect any unusual event in the respiratory health of their population.

    Panama Measures
    Pablo González, in charge of the international epidemiological surveillance of ports, airports and land borders of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), recommended that the population maintain all sanitary measures, mainly hand washing, and in-hospital centers, Biosecurity

    "People should remember that they are the first safety ring for any respiratory illness," Gonzalez said.

    The WHO explained in a statement that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause from the common cold to more serious diseases, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In addition, he indicated that this new strain of coronavirus had not been identified before in humans.

    The main symptoms of patients are fever, cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia and muscle pain.



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