Friday 14th October 2022.

October 14, 2022


The National Assembly has reported that it approved a project to “repeal” the two laws that grant tax credits to hotel investors. But, in practice, this would not be the case. The move would not have any results with respect to the incentives covered by Law 122 of 2019 and Law 314 of 2022, in which the State assumes, through a fiscal sacrifice, between 60% and 100% of the investment in any instrument issued to finance tourism projects. Melchor Herrera, deputy of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), shrewdly played a hand. Technically, he fulfilled the promise of President Laurentino Cortizo to repeal both laws and, at the same time, supported the interests of business groups that have the figure of tax credits to develop their projects. Herrera presented Bill 888 , with which Laws 122 and 314 are repealed. However, the substance of said regulations and the fiscal benefits they grant remained intact.”They shielded the tax credits and made various arrangements,” said attorney Carlos Barsallo, a former commissioner of the then National Securities Commission. Through project 888, approved in the third debate on October 6, companies or natural persons that acquire bonds, shares or other financial instruments issued by tourism companies with projects outside the district of Panama are allowed to receive a tax credit from the 100% income tax on the sums invested. The document indicates that in order to encourage investment and financing for the development of new tourist public lodging establishments or expansions, 60% of the total value of the project declared before the Tourism Authority of Panama will be recognized as a tax credit, excluding the value of the finca and the infrastructure of the master plan, plus 5% of the value to be recognized of the infrastructure of the master plan, declared before the Tourism Authority of Panama. But, in addition, a tax credit for 100% of the total value of the declared project will be recognized for those who have the respective environmental impact study and authorization from the Superintendence of the Stock Market of Panama for the issuance of bonds, shares and other financial instruments, whether issued by the tourist company or by a real estate investment company, or with the resolution of recognition of tax credit issued by the General Directorate of Revenue of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. “If you ask me: did they repeal the two laws? Indeed, I can say yes, but what they have done is perverse, because in other articles the full effect of the repealed laws is reproduced, so it is an innocuous and false repeal,” Barsallo specified. “In legal terms, we can say that two laws would be repealed, but nothing is repealed,” said the lawyer.

The judge of guarantees Carolina Santamaría applied the measure of preventive detention to José Cossio, in the investigation that is being carried out against him for the alleged commission of the crime of evasion and forgery, after on August 21, 2021 the defendant was arrested by police at a checkpoint in Costa del Este, when he was supposed to be in prison serving a 74-month prison sentence. A press release from the Judicial Branch specifies that in a hearing held this Thursday, October 13, Judge Santamaría made the decision to maintain Cossio’s arrest due to the procedural risks of flight danger and danger to the community. In this case, the prosecution is also investigating substitute judge Gerardo Ríos, who signed Cossio’s release, despite not being a compliance judge, since it is up to the latter to analyze the procedural situation of convicted persons. The irregularities in Cossio’s release were alerted by officials from the Drug Prosecutor’s Office, who, upon reviewing compliance with the 74-month prison sentence imposed on Cossio, for drug-related crimes, detected that he had not served it in his whole. As a result of these events, the then president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Luis Ramón Fábrega, and the then vice president of that justice corporation, María Eugenia López, filed a criminal complaint against Judge Ríos. Sources linked to the investigation reported that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, in charge of the investigations, have tried to interrogate Ríos on several occasions, but have not been able to locate him.Cossio will remain detained in the Punta Coco prison, located on Isla del Rey, in the Las Perlas archipelago.

The evidence that the Public Ministry has is sufficient and proves the punishable act in the case for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering in the Lava Jato case. This is part of the arguments of the ruling of the Superior Court of Liquidation that revoked a decision of the Third Liquidator Court of Criminal Causes and called 32 people to trial, among them the lawyers Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca Mora, founders of the extinct law firm Mossack Fonseca. The sentence, which bears the signatures of magistrates Manuel Mata Avendaño and Secundino Mendieta, specifies that article 2219 of the Judicial Code warns that when there is “any evidence or serious evidence” against a person, the criminal case may continue. This ruling also specifies that the prosecution’s investigation (begun in 2016) reveals that Mossack Fonseca received transfers from companies in the Federative Republic of Brazil for several million dollars. It also mentions the statement of María Mercedes Riaño, who was an employee of Mossack Fonseca in Brazil, who is credited with creating offshore companies that are linked to others investigated in that country for the alleged commission of money laundering. The prosecution’s investigation revealed that those under investigation participated “with conscience and will” in the creation of corporations and businesses, with the alleged purpose of hiding money from criminal activities. In this sense, the second prosecutor against organized crime, Isis Soto, explained on Wednesday, that the ruling of the Superior Court of Settlement will allow the evidence of the involvement of those investigated in this process to be presented in the trial. Soto stressed that the court ruling recognizes the existence of a punishable act and also recalled that now the Third Criminal Court Liquidator must set a date for the trial. She added that the ruling maintains the precautionary measures to prevent leaving the country imposed on the accused and the provisional dismissal for seven people. On June 16, judge Baloisa Marquínez, third liquidator of criminal cases, issued a provisional dismissal in favor of the 32 defendants in this process, but prosecutor Soto appealed this decision before the Superior Court of Liquidation, the result of which was known on Tuesday.

There was another robbery of a jewelry store located on Avenida Mexico, Calidonia corregimiento, on Thursday, confirmed authorities of the National Police and the Public Ministry.Police agents and personnel from the Public Ministry arrived at the scene and began investigations into the incident. This is the second robbery at a jewelry store in less than 24 hours. Yesterday the Police reported that there was a robbery at the Brilat jewelry store, located on Avenida Samuel Lewis, in Obarrio. After reporting the incident, the Police carried out an operation at various points in the capital city, to find the alleged suspects of the robbery. It was reported that in the search actions it was possible to locate a vehicle in the sector where the incident took place, which was allegedly used to carry out the criminal act. “Inside it there are some signs that could be related to the robbery,” the police reported. Roberto Rodríguez, Chief of the Metro Oeste Police Zone, explained that at the time of the robbery, there was only one clerk in the premises.

The authorities of the Public Ministry and the National Police reported this Thursday, that a $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who gives truthful information to locate the girl Aderlyn Mailenis Llerena Saldaña, who has already been missing for a month. On September 16, a $5,000 reward was offered to the person who provides information on the location of the minor and her alleged captors. It has been 30 days since Aderlyn Mailenis Llerena Saldaña, 9 years old, disappeared. According to the version of her relatives, everything happened when on September 13 the girl was on her way to the Gabriel Lewis Galindo school, located in Las Trancas, district of Arnulfo Arias, in the district of San Miguelito.The different operations and police search actions have not found the whereabouts of the minor. The authorities of the Police and the Public Ministry are asking the community to give any information that helps locate the minor.

Comic Convention Latin America (CCLA), a pop culture convention originating in Lima, Peru , in 2018, has announced that it will arrive in Panama on Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30 to hold an event that will feature the presence of British actor Joseph Quinn, as a stellar guest artist. CCLA is touring different countries in Latin America and Europe, including Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Switzerland and Portugal. In its latest edition in Peru, held in July of this year, actor Noah Schnapp , who plays Will Byers in Stranger Things, was the main guest. The organization announced on its social networks its arrival in Panama with just over two weeks to go before the convention. General tickets are being sold exclusively on the event website at a value of $34 for one day attendance; and $56.70, to go on both days. Aside from admission, packages are being sold for a meet and greet with Josep Quinn . As the website description reads, fans will be able to purchase access to meet the actor in person and take an individual photo with him. The photograph will be taken by a professional who is part of the organization. This experience will cost $136 (amount is apart from the cost of general admission to the event)



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