Monday 22nd January 2024.

January 21, 2024


The fire at the Cerro Patacón landfill, located in the town of Ancón, has been controlled by 80% in the sector known as “Calle 50” and by 98% in the tire depot.

This was reported by the Government this Sunday, January 21, 2024, after a meeting held to evaluate the progress of the fire extinguishing tasks, which began last Thursday afternoon.

According to a report from the inter-institutional team in charge of looking at this issue, on Saturday night work was done to guarantee the confinement of the fire that caused – among other things – a part of Panama City to be covered in toxic smoke.

For his part, the general director of the Urban Home Cleaning Authority, Rafael Prado, reported that the landfill is already operating at 100%, but in a supervised manner.

It must be remembered that the landfill had been closed due to this fire that was reported since last Thursday afternoon. The emergency caused the suspension of the entry of the collection trucks that were going to make the final disposal of the garbage, both from the Urban and Home Cleaning Authority, which provides the service in the district of Panama, and from the Recicladora Vida y Salud company. San Miguel (Revisalud), in charge of collection in San Miguelito.

The colonel of the Panama Fire Department, Luis Ángel Jaramillo, also explained that they are working with twice as many dump trucks – 31 in total – in the underground work.

Throughout the weekend, distributed in several shifts, approximately 1,250 units remain working, including permanent and volunteers, it was reported.

The Public Ministry opened an ex officio investigation to determine the origin of the fire.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) urged the government of Laurentino Cortizo to make the “necessary structural changes” for the depoliticization of the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu).

This entity has been the target of questions due to the granting of controversial financial aid that has remained in the hands of children of deputies, ministers, businessmen and a group of influencers .

In the Sunday column La Cámara Opina , the business union expressed that Ifarhu is a vital and strategic institution in building the future of the country and that therefore, “the misuse and waste of State resources as a result of politicization is reprehensible. Of the same”. The Cciap also brought to the fore “distrust” in the institution, following the “questioned cases of financial aid granted to family members and close friends of some officials and deputies.”

The text of this edition of La Cámara Opina focuses on the call for job creation, which is “one of the most pressing challenges for Panama.” “The combination of unemployment and informality, aggravated by the pandemic and the closures of communication routes in July 2022 and October and November of last year, require redoubling efforts on the part of the authorities, workers and the employer sector,” it states. he pointed.

The Cciap indicated that the lack of technical skills constitutes a significant barrier to the employment of thousands of young Panamanians, contributing to youth unemployment and, in many cases, social marginalization. However, he insisted that technical education is an effective tool for progress.

In this sense, he highlighted once again the support to the Specialized Higher Technical Institute and its Board of Directors, in addition to the training offered by the National Institute of Vocational Training and Training for Human Development and the internship programs in companies, which are “tools “effective” to provide young people with the opportunity to gain practical experience and skills relevant to the labor market.

“Training in technical skills provides young people with the opportunity to improve their living conditions, reduce poverty and contribute to the economic development of the country,” stressed the union chaired by Adolfo Fábrega.

The next administration that takes over the reins of the country as of July 1, 2024 will have to work on several fronts, such as unemployment, the finances of the Social Security Fund, security, accessibility of water for human consumption and the Canal, among others. All of these problems have something in common: financing is needed to solve them, and that is another obstacle that the next government must overcome.

The country’s debt closed at 47,025 million dollars in 2023, which represents a year-on-year increase of 2,751 million dollars. The figure would have been higher, but in December more than 690 million dollars were paid between principal and interest. Likewise, during the last month of last year, the Government received more than 140 million dollars from multilateral organizations such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which disbursed 86 million dollars and which will be used in the Financing Programs. Additional for the Emergency Response Project against Covid-19 in Panama.

Also, the administration of President Laurentino Cortizo received at the end of 2023, 20.7 million dollars to finance the Comprehensive Transformation and Improvement Plan Program of the National Institute of Vocational Training and Training for Human Development, as well as 6.2 million dollars for the Educational Infrastructure Program. In addition, 2 million dollars corresponding to the construction of line 3 of the Panama Metro entered the State coffers.

From July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023, the Cortizo administration has increased the balance of the debt of the Non-Financial Public Sector (SPNF) by 20,413 million dollars, being the largest increase during a presidential period, exceeding the management given by the three leaders before 2019. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander, has defended the increase in debt during the current administration, stating that it was done in a calculated, responsible, and not random manner.

San Miguelito , a district where 280,777 people live according to the 2023 Census, has a budget of $42 million this year . The municipality, under the command of Héctor Valdés Carrasquilla, a member of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and who is seeking re-election in the May 5 elections , has 254,567 people qualified to vote, according to the preliminary electoral roll of the Electoral Tribunal (TEA).

The budget of the municipality of San Miguelito this year is $7.4 million higher than that of 2023 ($34.6 million), and it includes figures such as $100 thousand for donations to people, $200 thousand for food and a consultancy for $800 thousand, which It will be paid with funds from the Treasury Department. Valdés Carrasquilla’s office has also budgeted $33,600 for representation expenses, and $175,000 for special services, which are not specified.

The data is recorded in municipal agreement 110, dated December 29, 2023 and published in the Official Gazette 29947-A , dated January 11.

While the Municipal Council noted other expenses such as $140 thousand for diets, $40 thousand more than last year ($100 thousand). And it also has $13,200 for representation expenses. The Council also budgeted an allocation of $15,000 for food and another $15,000 for unforeseen items.

The community board of Amelia Denis de Icaza , led by Nicolás Barrios of the PRD, has $344,880 at its disposal.

That of Belisario Porras , which was under the control of PRD member César Caballero, murdered on November 7, has a budget of $430,200. While that of José Domingo Espinar, led by Dixia Delgado, also from the PRD, has $342 thousand 582.

Barrios and Delgado will try to be re-elected in the May tournament. While Dinora Núñez, Caballero’s substitute, is the PRD’s bet to retain power in the Belisario Porras communal board.

Two candidates for the general elections of May 5 are on the list of people arrested in the middle of Operation Alps, a judicial action that dismantled a network that was allegedly dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering in the coastal areas of the peninsula. from Azuero.

This is Arnaldo Acevedo Delgado , who aspires to represent the town of Peña Blanca, in the district of Las Tablas, for the ruling Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena) . And from Bolívar Bolivita Corro Vega , candidate to represent the district of Paris, Parita district, in the province of Herrera.

Both are prosecuted for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering. On Sunday, January 14, a Guarantee Court legalized the arrest of 63 people detained in various operations.

Acevedo was captured on Thursday, January 11, at the Tocumen International Airport, Panama City, as he entered the country from Medellín, Colombia. According to the authorities in charge of the investigation, this man is considered, along with Carlos Mosquera, alias Calitín , one of the leaders of the criminal network that operated on the coasts of the provinces of Herrera, Los Santos, Veraguas and Coclé.

Nabil Quintero , 32, an official at the Los Santos regional Electoral Tribunal (TE), is also being prosecuted in this investigation . She was apprehended last Thursday, January 18, when she arrived at the Tocumen International Airport, from Europe.

During a hearing held last Friday, the guarantee judge Brígido Alonso decreed his provisional arrest for the alleged commission of crimes against collective security, in the form of conspiracy to commit crimes related to drugs and against the economic order in the form of money laundering.

According to a statement from the Judicial Branch, the judge made that decision considering that he could flee to evade the process. His lawyer, Leonardo Paul Aparicio, appealed the measure, therefore a hearing was scheduled for January 25 at the offices of the Superior Court of Appeals of the Fourth Judicial District (Herrera and Los Santos).

The Electoral Tribunal, an entity whose president is Judge Alfredo Juncá , ruled after Quintero’s capture was announced. “The alleged illicit activity of this official is her exclusive responsibility and has nothing to do with the TE,” the institution said in a statement.

An official from the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) , one from the National Border Service (Senafront) and another from the National Police are also detained in this case .

In this case, $1.9 million in cash, 45 thousand euros, six tons of drugs, 22 vehicles, several firearms, 400 ammunition and beach houses owned by Colombian citizens, who used them for meetings and parties, were seized.

Until last Friday, 16 people had agreed to sentencing agreements, after they accepted their responsibility, in exchange for a sentence of 60 months in prison. In addition to serving the prison sentence, the agreements include the return of money and property resulting from criminal activity.


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