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Crime Wave Beginning Late August 2019; Public Security Minister Facing Assembly Grilling

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Four murdered in separate Black  Friday incidents

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Posted 17/08/2019

A wave of gang-related violence led to the murder of four people including a woman in the Panama metropolitan district on Friday, August 16.

Nerys Andrés Rivas Perea, 24, was gunned down with five shots by hitmen on a.street in  Santa Marta, San Miguel district in the early evening. Rachell Rangel Caicedo, 22, was shot in the back in the recycling sector in San Miguel ito  She was taken by taxi to Santo Tomás Hospital, where she died.

In Las Acacias. Ciro Luis Castro Rivas, 49, a renowned humorist, who participated in the TV Infragranti program was stabbed and killed  in a robbery by a man and woman;

Luis Alberto Falcón, aka”Z”. 22, was killed with a bullet hit in the head when arriving at a friend’s house in the Nuevo Tocumen neighborhood.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/four-murdered-in-separate-black-friday-incidents

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Eight dead on Panama bloody Friday

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Posted 24/08/2019

Panama City’s bloody  Friday, August 23, registered 4 murders, 3 young people killed in a single vehicle accident, the suicide of a 28-year-old woman in Paque  Omar an attempted murder on the grounds of the University of Panama and a woman injured in an attack on  Via Argentina.

In the lunchtime rush hour Luis Pinto Mosquera and Iván Pérez Blandón, traveling in a taxi on Transismica were gunned down in a taxi following  a car chase by men carrying heavy caliber weapons according to witnesses. The two died at the scene. The hitmen fled in a Honda sedan.

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Ariel Ramos, 26; Eliécer Barría, 21, and Javier Joel Guzamán  Santamaría 22 died after a spectacular crash. on  Domingo Díaz, near the San Antonio neighborhood, of San Miguelito

The young people were traveling from a soccer game and were going to leave one of their companions at a subway station. 

At about 5:00 in the afternoon, there was an attempted murder of a woman was in front of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Panama. and a woman was injured in an attempted robbery on  Via Argentina. After an exchange of gunfire, a man was arrested

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old girl was found dead in an area near the National Library, in Parque  Omar Park. She hung herself with a rope from a tree.

A 10-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a man looking for her brother in Santa Cruz, Curundú, died two hours after being admitted to Hospital del Niño hospital.

The brother followed the man and killed him, after a shoot out that sent the avenger to hospital with gunshot wounds

On the same day, an on-duty  police sergeant allegedly raped his niece and President Cortizo promised an iron fist for criminals

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/eight-dead-on-panama-bloody-friday

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Lottery seller innocent victim of gang shoot out

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Posted 25/08/2019

A 45-year-old woman illegal-lottery ticket seller was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between rival gang members in San Miguelito, on Sunday y August 25. She was hit by a stray bullet and rushed to hospital where she died. The gang members fled the scene

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/lottery-seller-innocent-victim-of-gang-shoot-out

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10 weekend killings send “streets are ours"  message

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Daylight killings on Panama streets raise concerns

Posted 27/08/2019

Common crime killed 10 people this weekend. It seems that the perpetrators have sent a message to authorities and citizens: the streets are ours. Meanwhile, in the National Police they change the name of the police units in charge of repressing crime. Each director who has had the entity has its very personal booklet to do things, believing that only with it citizen security will improve. Nothing is worse than believing you own a single solution, because security problems are entangled and it is not repression that alone will solve them. If this issue is not addressed in all its complexity, we will witness the failure, again and again, because only one of its multiple components is addressed. What do the other actors do, starting with parents and home, going through schools, government policies on these issues? This without counting on the sad role played by the Judiciary, whose sentences are an invitation to a Persian market in which custom rulings can be obtained. The security of the country is something that concerns all citizens and not just an institution. – LA PRENSA August 27

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/10-weekend-killings-send-streets-are-oursquot-message-1

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New anti-crime strike force unveiled after 48-hour blood bath

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Posted 27/08/2019

National Police Director Jorge Miranda, who took over the post on July 4  has created a special team labeled “Alpha Force” to combat Panama’s surging crime rate which saw 10 people killed on the weekend and daily assassinations, sometimes in broad daylight in front of public onlookers. To the  deaths are added robberies, thefts, stabbings street quarrels, and domestic violence

“It is the restructuring of our resources to face what has been seen in recent days. There are several things to adjust within the service and Alfa intends to integrate our resources, in order to target the sectors, areas, and people who are engaged in this type of activity, ” said Miranda.

One of the weekend victims was an eight-year-old girl first grader at Fe y Alegría School, who dreamed of being a teacher was caught in the middle of crossfire in a war between gangs in Curundú, where she lived with her family. Two bullets penetrated her head. In the same incident, a 24-year-old also died in a hail of bullets

The residents of Curundú, where at least 20,000 people live, , conducted a peaceful march on Monday afternoon to demand security. The protest involved the family members of the girl and those of other victims of violence in the area.

The "Alpha Force", according to Miranda, will have the support of other security forces and the community itself. “The consequence of what we are seeing now, is not that it went from a month to here. It is the result of some things that were not working and that we have the obligation to order, ”said Miranda

The new security authorities, commanded by minister of the branch, Rolando Mirones , dismantled the so-called Eagle Force, created by the government of Juan Carlos Varela , a security squad that, like Alpa, brought together personnel from organizations such as the National Borders System,  the National Aeronaval Service,and  the Institutional Protection System, among others.

"We do not have a magic wand to end the situation that is taking place as a result of drug seizures, quarrels of gang members ... We are not going to negotiate with any ringleader of any band. We are not going to negotiate with any boss, ”Miranda told reporters on Monday after the citizens complained about the violent events that shook the country the weekend.

Miranda said that on the weekend they arrested 272 suspects and removed  20 firearms from the streets.

He also showed an intelligent vehicle, called Panther, which seeks to establish an internal communications control network for the police.

Criminal lawyer Orlando Castillo, says " the issue of citizen insecurity has a drag of decades. “It requires a comprehensive approach, which includes the preventive aspect. Repressive approaches have been inefficient. A change of strategy is required, ”he added.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/new-anti-crime-strike-force-unveiled-after-48-hour-blood-bath

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Broad daylight shootings increase as slaughter tops 254

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The targeted car

Posted 02/09/2019

As Panama’s homicide/femicide count continues past 254, assassinations and attempts in broad daylight and in front of witnesses are becoming more common.

On Monday, September 2 a woman and  a man were hit by a hail of bullets during a car chase on Transistmica  which began at the traffic light of San Judas in Colón

They were both transferred to hospital.

Early reports sat two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/broad-daylight-shootings-increase-as-slaughter-tops-254

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Fighting crime wave with flawed judges

Posted 03/09/2019

The Minister of Security has revealed the intention of the government of President Laurentino Cortizo to seek a modification to the Criminal Procedure Code to update the capacity of the State to face the crime wave that plagues the country. Although this legal instrument has significant shortcomings, the situation of justice in the country shows systemic failures.

Thus, Panama has interim and trial judges that are interim, appointed without adequate training or supervision for the positions they hold. Similarly, the judges ignore legal norms or disregard common sense and the criteria of reason. However, the fight against crime requires a larger budget for investigators, prosecutors, and courts, which, at the same time, with remediation of corruption in the justice system, can offer the country the certainty of the punishment of the culprits, and the effective defense of society. Not the contrary, LA PRENSA, Sep.3

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/fighting-crime-wave-with-flawed-judges

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Public Security Minister facing Assembly grilling on crime surge

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Rolando Mirones

Posted 12/09/2019

Rolando Mirones , Minister of Public Security, will have to appear shortly before the plenary session of the  National Assembly to answer 15 questions related to the crime surge since he took office the migratory flow seizures and the Safe Neighborhoods program. 

Mirones was cited by the deputies of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) bench. The citation proposal was submitted by the PRD  Zulay Rodríguez. 

"Considering the functions foreseen in the law for the position you occupy and the crime rates that have increased exponentially during your first 30 days of management, could you indicate the following? What policies and actions of protection, security, and crime prevention have you established to date or will set in the future? ", is the first question.

Among other questions, the deputies want to know the administrative measures taken by the Government to reduce the delay in the process of arms renewal; if with the ban on weapons they have managed to lower crime rates with firearms in the country;  and the policies that they will implement in the face of the "migration crisis".
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/public-security-minister-facing-assembly-grilling-on-crime-surge

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Security Minster delays Assembly appearance as crime rate expands

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Posted 15/09/2019

Panama’s embattled Public Security Minister  Rolando Mirones will not respond to a summons to attend the National Assembly on Monday, September 16  to answer questions from lawmakers amid growing concerns about the country’s crime wave. Since he took office

The deputy and first vice president of the Assembly, Zulay Rodríguez said on her Twitter account that Mirones will not be able to attend the call, due to previous commitments.

"We are coordinating with the protocol team to reschedule his attendance to the Plenary," Rodriguez said. She made the request to call  Mirones, on September 10.

 Since the beginning of the administration of Laurentino Cortizo and Mirones in the Security portfolio, the cases of robberies and homicides in different areas of the country have increased, according to citizen groups.

The government recently eliminated the “ Eagle Force ” created during the Juan Carlos Varela government and created the “ Alpha Force ”, who have carried out operations against gangs and organized crime organizations.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/security-minster-delays-assembly-appearance-as-crime-rate-expands

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