Friday 12th January 2024.

January 11, 2024


The Minister of the Environment, Milciades Concepción, will not resign from his position: “ I will be here until the last day or until the president [Laurentino Cortizo] decides ,” he stated.

Concepción assured that he is “very satisfied” with his management, which – he said – has contributed to international organizations taking us as a “reference in the world, for being blue leaders, having 68% forest cover.”

The head of the Environment once again defended the contract-law with Minera Panamá – declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Justice last November – by indicating that he and the rest of the ministers approved it, as well as the National Assembly, due to the environmental guarantees that , he said, would be enough. For example, maintaining an office in the mining area to know first-hand if an environmental incident occurred.

“I can’t turn the world back. Now we have to look at the care, closure and maintenance. “The past is over,” said Concepción, showing his displeasure with the annulment of the contract with the mining company, which contained at least 25 violations of the Constitution , according to the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Regarding environmental impacts, he indicated that, after the mining company ceased operations, they have not observed violations of environmental regulations or damage, although last week they took water samples for review. “Everyone can see that there is no contamination, there is nothing in sight,” said Concepción, without prior analysis studies.

In 10 years (2011-2021), reports from the Ministry of the Environment on Minera Panamá revealed ‘environmental non-compliance’ but they were not enough to stop its operation. Despite this, there would have been no inspection in 2022 and 2023.

The minister’s statements were made during the on-site inspection by an intergovernmental oversight commission and citizen observers of the Minera Panamá facilities that took place this Thursday.

Governance, inclusion and national water policy were some of the experts’ proposals to address the water crisis that Panama is going through in the 4th. Country Agenda 2024-2029 forum, held yesterday between the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

With the effect of El Niño, the passage through the Canal reduced and with no immediate solution in sight, the president of the Cciap, Adolfo Fábrega, asked to “act urgently” and “accelerate the planning and execution” of the construction of reservoirs. water. “It is urgent that the National Government adopts medium-term measures, such as the construction of reservoirs in the Indio River basin, to safeguard the operation of the Canal and ensure supply in vulnerable regions,” said Fábrega.

Fábrega also indicated that, in the short term, the situation “will only be mitigated with a culture of savings for everyone as consumers” and asked to immediately correct the IDAAN deterioration, the “inadequate citizen conduct” and the “lack of updating in the tariff system.” ”.

Three experts then spoke with Marcela Galindo, from Cciap, about ‘Water and Sustainability’ in a room full of politicians – including independent candidates for the presidency -, businessmen, journalists and other experts. In their interventions, they pointed to the need for a national water policy, coordination and putting into practice the agreements that already exist.

Former president Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal , convicted in two instances of money laundering, has filed a warning of unconstitutionality against an article of the Judicial Code. This article specifies the requirements necessary to annul a sentence.

The warning was presented on January 8 by lawyer Carlos Carrillo on behalf of Martinelli, although it has not yet been admitted. The corresponding decision is made by Judge Miriam Cheng.

Specifically, the warning is directed against the last paragraph of article 2439 of the Judicial Code , on the requirements for the admission of appeals. The text describes what these requirements are and, at the end, states: “ When the requirements mentioned above do not meet, the Court will simply deny the admission of the appeal .”

This appeal is added to the chain of legal actions that Martinelli has filed in different instances, in order to prevent the execution of the sentence of 128 months in prison and the payment of a fine of $19.2 million, for laundering public funds to acquire the shares. by Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa) , in December 2010, in the so-called New Business case . This sentence was handed down last July by criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez and ratified by the Superior Court for the Settlement of Criminal Cases.

The sentence also includes the delivery of 60% of the shares of Epasa, whose beneficiary is Martinelli. The remaining 40% is already in the power of the State.

Until now, all of these appeals have been denied or inadmissible.

The Court must still decide on an appeal filed by Martinelli against the sentence imposed on him for the New Business case. Judge Ariadne García must decide whether or not she admits said appeal.

The Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC) of Panama reported that it temporarily prohibited all operations of some of the Boeing brand aircraft, model 737 MAX 9 in the country.

The AAC indicates that in the case of Compañía Panameña de Aviación, SA Copa Airlines, it has 29 737 MAX 9 aircraft, of which 21 have the configuration with the option of Mid cabin door plug or emergency exit cabin door, fuselage which was ordered to be reviewed, after having detached in mid-flight from a plane of the American airline Alaska Airlines .

“The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America (FAA) notified the global emergency after an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 plane suffered the detachment of one of the emergency exit doors,” indicates the AAC statement.

In this sense, they report that in Panama the inspection of these aircraft began on January 7 to verify the records and inspections of Copa Airlines and the latest actions requested by the FAA and the manufacturer are being monitored to comply with the actions. who lift the ban.

The general manager of the Tocumen International Airport, SA (AITSA), Raffoul Arab , learned yesterday Wednesday at 5:00 pm of the resolution of the Administrative Court of Public Procurement (TACP) , which revoked a decision by the airport to terminate the contract with Odebrecht and disqualify the company from participating in other tenders with the State.

However, this legal dispute has not concluded with said resolution. At least, not for AITSA.

Arab spoke this Thursday by telephone with La Prensa and assured that, although he abides by the decision of the TACP, “we remain firm in ensuring the interests of the country, so we will be exhausting the last resorts that the law allows us to safeguard the interests of Panama”.

That instance is the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

Since the TACP resolution exhausts the administrative route, AITSA would have to go to the Third Chamber of Administrative Litigation.

Starting Wednesday night and throughout today, Tocumen officials will be meeting with their external lawyers and internal legal advisors to determine the legal approach they will take to the case and what appeal they will present to the Court.

After an eighth addendum, in which Odebrecht was granted more time to complete the pending work on Terminal 2 of the airport, Tocumen decided in 2021 to cancel the contract due to non-compliance to address the pending work.

Three years later, the TACP considers that this decision should be revoked because the work was occupied and is in use. Said court said that the airport’s actions did not comply with the procedure to administratively terminate the contract.

Its decision is based on article 354 of Executive Decree 66 of 2006 , which regulates Law 22 of 2006 , on public procurement.

Arab, however, warns that the new terminal could be occupied because the Tocumen administration assumed the work that Odebrecht did not finish and that was vital to receive planes and serve passengers.

Starting next April 1, Panamanian citizens will be exempt from the obligation to have visas to enter Japan .

This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama this Thursday, January 11, 2024.

The announcement seeks to facilitate the conditions of entry into Japanese territory and underlines the commitment of both nations to promoting connectivity and the development of friendly and productive relations between their citizens, highlights a statement on the subject.

The visa exemption removes obstacles to short-term travel between the two countries. Likewise, it facilitates mobility and encourages cultural, tourist and commercial exchange, the note adds.

The Foreign Ministry of Panama highlights the “strategic significance of this measure, adopted at a good time by Japan, since it marks a fundamental milestone in the strengthening of bilateral collaboration in various sectors.”

It is worth mentioning that Panama has exempted Japanese citizens from visa requirements since 2012.

Japan is an island country located in East Asia; It has a population of 125,507,000 people.

Its capital is Tokyo, which is also the largest city in the country. Tokyo is very famous for its skyscrapers, commerce and pop culture.

National and municipal public offices will remain closed on Carnival Monday and Ash Wednesday, the Government ordered through Executive Decree 3 of January 10, 2024.

The Carnival festivities will take place between Saturday the 10th and Tuesday the 13th of February, which is why the decree states the closure of government entities throughout the day on Monday the 12th. In addition, the measure includes the 14th, Ash Wednesday.


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