Friday 13th January 2023,

January 13, 2023


The heads of the various benches in the National Assembly held an informative meeting this Thursday, with the president of the Government Commission, Leandro Ávila , on the bill that creates the jurisdiction for extinction of domain of illegal assets in the country . Ávila, who has publicly rejected the proposal, explained that the commission wanted to submit a report on the state of the project. “It was important to document the heads of bench so that they transmit this information to the rest of the deputies,” he added. He announced that they have received some observations from the Ministry of Security, the entity that presented the project, as well as from the private sector. For his part, the independent deputy Juan Diego Vásquez explained that the meeting was to find out what the plan will be and what they will do with the project. “What the [independent] bench has said, and I felt that this was the consensus, is that it must be discussed. The Assembly is going to show interest in discussing it, ”he said. The president of the Assembly, Crispiano Adames, also participated in this meeting, who, like Ávila, is against the proposal presented by the Executive. A legislative subcommittee that is evaluating the bill must submit a report to the Government Commission this month, a task that has been pending since last year. Earlier this month, Security Minister Juan Pino urged legislators to discuss the proposal soon. “Enough of the surveys, enough of the consultations, the time has come to sit down at the table and discuss the project, analyze it, make the changes and start with something. The problem is to start … there is some resistance (in the Assembly), we understand it, ”he said after explaining that the project was prepared for a year and went through all the corresponding stages. Pino said that he will not withdraw the bill, as some deputies have requested.

A criminal complaint for the alleged commission of crimes against the environment and tax fraud was filed on the morning of this Thursday, against the company Minera Panamá SA The complaint – filed by the lawyer Roberto Ruiz Díaz – is based on the fact that Minera Panamá has continued to exploit natural resources in the district of Donoso, province of Colón, despite the fact that the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the contract signed between the company and the Panamanian State since December 21, 2017. The complaint specifies that Minera Panamá has continued to exploit the mine and has stopped paying the corresponding taxes for this operation. It also details that Minera Panamá has continued to exploit the Mine, despite the ruling of the Court and presented a series of appeals that prevented the effects of the ruling from taking effect until December 2021, when it was published in the Official Gazette . It must be remembered that on December 19, 2022, the Government ordered Minera Panamá to prepare a plan to put the Cobre Panamá mine under care and maintenance, which contemplates the cessation of commercial operations, in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, through which the contract law of 1997 was declared unconstitutional, with which the concession for the exploitation in Donoso, Colón was granted.

The Government announced on January 12 that the Cabinet Council approved the extension of the price of a gallon of fuel to $3.25 for 95 and 91 octane gasoline, as well as diesel. The measure will be for an additional thirty days, until February 15. “While fuel costs worldwide are very high, Panama, with the rate of 3.25 a gallon, has one of the cheapest fuel prices in the world,” said the State Communications Secretariat. “In order to maintain this price per gallon of fuel, the National Government makes a great effort and a fiscal sacrifice in order to alleviate the high costs of products and services to the population in general and avoid the increase in the price of a ticket to the users of collective and selective transport, ”says the statement.This subsidy, which arose from the agreements of the dialogue table, installed after the harsh protests  registered in July 2022, expired on January 15. To date, the Government has allocated $286 million in subsidies.

After about 48 hours of working the Colon Fire Department is still dealing with the fire of a warehouse in France Field of the Colon Free Zone (ZLC). Although the fire is under control, some 40 firemen are working to prevent the fire from gaining strength inside the already collapsed structures of 6 warehouses. For the moment, the affected companies prefer not to talk about how much the loss was due to this fire that started around 7:00 am on Tuesday, January 10.

The United States ambassador in Panama, Mari Carmen Aponte, announced that her government is aware of the request made by various sectors of the country for the revision of the trade promotion treaty signed decades ago.“We are aware of this request that some sectors have made, in the revision of the TPC, but it is more productive to invest money, time and resources in training people interested in participating  in the treaties, to raise the quality standards and they can enter without problems to the US market and make this deal work for the long haul,” she said. Ambassador Aponte said that it is very important to have a variety of Panamanian products in the US market. Said trade agreement was signed by both countries on June 28, 2007 and entered into force on October 31, 2012. On this issue, the Minister of Agricultural Development, Augusto Valderrama, has said that Panama’s position on the TPC is that the United States must “review and renegotiate it” so that it does not affect the future of production and the Panamanian economy. Ambassador Aponte’s statements were made after leaving a meeting held with the governor of the province of Chiriquí, Juan Carlos Muñoz Franceschi, and the mayor of David, Antonio Araúz, at the headquarters of the Governor’s Office in the city of David. Other issues discussed between Aponte and the Chirican authorities were those related to security, migration, agricultural production, tourism and others. Aponte’s agenda includes meetings with Americans residing in the province of Chiriquí, in addition to her participation in the inauguration of the 50th edition of the Flower and Coffee Fair, which runs from January 12 to 22, 2023.

One person was captured on the morning of this Thursday, January 12, by members of the National Police after he tried to assault, along with three other people, the Banistmo branch on Justo Arosemena avenue, Calidonia. The deputy director of the police, Simón Henríquez, explained that they also confiscated a firearm. However, he acknowledged that the other robbers managed to steal about $400 from a client and the weapon from the security agent who was outside the bank. “The security that was inside made use of his weapon and at the same time alerted the police,” said the director. The police began an operation in the sector to capture the other suspects. Those linked to this incident escaped in a white sedan vehicle, prosecutor Julio Villareal explained.


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