Friday 10th March 2023.

March 10, 2023


The percentage of royalties is increased, the use of easements is limited, exploration and exploitation is restricted only to copper and associated minerals, a mine closure plan is included and the establishment of new tax credits is not allowed.

These are, in summary, some of the novelties of the contract law agreed between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) and the company Minera Panama, a subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum, to give continuity for 20 more years (extendable for another 20) to the operation of the mine in Donoso, whose concession area remains the same as in the document agreed in 1997.

This was explained by the Minister of Mici, Federico Alfaro, at a press conference on Thursday, March 9, in which he noted that the new contract will include an anti-corruption clause, the creation of a trust and the transition to renewable energy sources.

“The terms agreed in January 2022 are fully complied with,” Alfaro said.

Royalties to the state, which were previously 2% to 5%, will now be 12% to 16%, “depending on gross profit,” Alfaro said. The mining company will also pay taxes (remittance, ITBMS, etc.) and there will be no unlimited tax credits. “The new contract fixes them and does not allow the establishment of new tax credits,” he said.

Now a consultation period of 30 days will be opened, for the population to consult the contract agreed between the Mici and First Quantum. Alfaro promised that in seven days or sooner, the text will be available online. Then, the Cabinet Council must authorize the minister of the Mici to sign it. The contract signed must be endorsed by the Comptroller’s Office and supported before the National Assembly. Finally, the contract law will be sanctioned by President Lauretino Cortizo.

Once again, the Supreme Court of Justice has shelved paid leave in local governments.

On March 1, the Court did not admit an amparo of constitutional guarantees against a note from the Comptroller General of the Republic dated June 6, 2022, which suspended the payment of paid leave to mayors, vice mayors and representatives of corregimiento and their substitutes.

The ruling, with the presentation of Judge Olmedo Arrocha, supports the decision assumed by the Comptroller’s Office, so Circular No. 17-2022 DC-DNFG of June 6, 2022, signed by Comptroller Gerardo Solís, addressed to the heads of the central government, decentralized sector, National Assembly, Judicial Branch, mayors and representatives of corregimiento, remains in force. where it is detailed that the disbursements of paid leave were suspended, in compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice that declared this benefit unconstitutional in favor of the authorities of local governments that, at the time of their election, exercised functions in some institution of the State.

According to the ruling with Arrocha’s presentation, the amparo cannot be admitted by the Court, since the defendant circular is a mere communication made by the Comptroller’s Office for compliance with a ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice, issued on March 14, 2022.

It states that in this case, when reviewing the procedural records, it is not observed that the constitutional guarantees of the 304 councilors who filed the amparo have been violated.

Nine people allegedly linked to the commission of crimes of aggravated intentional homicide and attempted homicide were apprehended on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

These are the results of the so-called “Hitman” operation, in which various raids were carried out in Alcalde Díaz, Betania, Chepo, Chilibre, El Chorrillo, Ernesto Córdoba Campos and Juan Díaz.

Those apprehended are related to events that occurred between 2022 and 2023.

At the press conference, the authorities mentioned the case of the capture, in Betania, of alias George, for the murder of a citizen of Colombian nationality, which occurred on December 2, 2022, in Villa Cáceres. In this case, the victim’s dismembered body was located inside a car that was catching fire in Betania and another part of his body was the Cerro Patacón landfill.

Those apprehended will be placed under the orders of a judge of guarantees for the respective hearings of requests for legalization of apprehension, imputation of charges and application of precautionary measures.

The International Police (Interpol) of Honduras captured the Nicaraguan Abner Antonio Ruiz Mendoza, whom Panama is asking for extradition for the rape of a minor, an official source reported Thursday.

Ruiz Mendoza, who had an Interpol red notice, was arrested Wednesday afternoon, Honduran Supreme Court spokesman Melvin Duarte told reporters.

The detainee is accused of “the crime of rape of a minor,” said Duarte, who indicated that Panama can request the Nicaraguan within the framework of the Convention on Extradition, signed in Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933.

The spokesman of the Judicial Branch of Honduras said that the Nicaraguan can remain detained for two months until Panama formalizes his extradition request, otherwise, he will be released.

“What is going to happen is that an ad hoc hearing will be held, that is, only for the purpose of informing the detained person that there is this international alert,” Duarte explained.

After two years without contributing dividends to the State, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the administration of Tocumen International Airport reported that it delivered to the National Treasury $ 5 million corresponding to the fiscal term of the year 2022.

This is the first dividend statement since 2019, after in 2020 the air terminal was closed for about eight months and its reopening took place gradually, due to health restrictions.

In a statement from Tocumen S.A., it was recalled that between $ 20 and $ 25 million per year in dividends were paid. Between 2015 and 2019, $118.4 million was paid.

Raffoul Arab, General Manager of Tocumen, S.A., explained that to face the effects of the health crisis, a strategy of recovery of operations, attraction of airlines, debt restructuring, activation of non-aeronautical concessions and strict control of expenditure were applied.

The prices of gasoline and diesel will fall for the second time in a row in the last month in Panama.

From this Friday, 95-octane gasoline will drop one cent per liter and will be sold at $ 1.05. While 91-octane gasoline will decrease 2 cents and remain at 98 cents.

Diesel drops one cent, remaining at 97 cents a liter. The Secretariat of National Energy reported that these prices will begin to take effect from this Friday, March 10 until March 24.

Currently, a gallon of 91- and 95-octane gasoline and subsidized diesel is $3.25.

Panamanian scientist Guillermo Antonio Ameer continues to make his way in regenerative engineering, along with a team of researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, United States.

The latest innovation is a small, flexible, one-of-a-kind elastic bandage that accelerates healing by delivering electrotherapy (a method used to accelerate the closure of wounds on the skin) directly to the wound site.

This new bandage, in an animal study, healed diabetic ulcers 30% faster than in mice without the bandage.

Ameer’s research was published online Feb. 22 in the journal Science Advances.

The bandage also actively monitors the healing process and then dissolves harmlessly (with electrodes) in the body when it is no longer needed.

In fact, the new bandage could provide a powerful tool for patients with diabetes, whose ulcers can lead to various complications, including limb amputation or even death.

“When a person develops a wound, the goal is always to close that wound as quickly as possible. An open wound is susceptible to infection. And for people with diabetes, infections are even harder to treat and more dangerous. This new bandage is cost-effective, easy to apply, adaptable, comfortable, effective in closing wounds and preventing further infection and complications,” said Ameer, who co-led the study.

The researchers were curious to say whether electrical stimulation therapy could help close these stubborn wounds, as injuries can disrupt the body’s normal electrical signals. By applying electrical stimulation, it restores the body’s normal signals, attracting new cells to migrate to the wound bed.

“Our body depends on electrical signals to function,” Ameer said.

“We try to restore or promote a more normal electrical environment throughout the wound. We observed that the cells quickly migrated to the wound and regenerated the skin tissue in the area. The new skin tissue included new blood vessels and inflammation was reduced,” he added.


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