Friday 20th January 2023.

January 20, 2023

The Authority for the Protection of Consumers and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) reported that in 2022, 2,637 claims were resolved in favor of consumers for an amount of $37.3 million. According to the entity, complaints for breach of warranty and lack of information topped the list of resolutions in favor of consumers. According to Acodeco statistics, last year 704 favorable claims for customers due to breach of warranty were settled. In addition, 620 for lack of information, 307 for unfair terms, 244 for termination of contract, 188 for breach of service, 133 breach of contract, 112 for contract cancellation and 65 cases for hidden defects. Regarding the type of activity, Acodeco details that 549 complaints against real estate companies were resolved for an amount of $33.6 million. The other activities with the highest number of cases in favor of consumers are: cable television (273 for $14,233.10), funeral homes (241 for $21,671.99), sales of household appliances and electronic equipment (185 for $114,173.45), cell phones (138 cases, $28,775.41) , car agencies (96 resolved complaints for $1.5 million), hotels or vacation plans (92 cases for $294,860.06). The entity reminded consumers that invoices, guarantee certificates, contracts, promotional brochures or advertisements, among other documents, must be kept to be presented as evidence at the time of a claim.

During the 2019 political campaign, the deputies of the National Assembly raised $4,085,066.16, through donations from construction companies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors, among others. From their own pocket they invested $1,804,050.89. These data are part of the findings of a new tool of the citizen observatory Boletín de Diputados, of the Espacio Cívico foundation. The initiative, which was launched to the public yesterday Wednesday, is based on an analysis of the statements presented to the Electoral Tribunal by the deputies themselves on the economic contributions they received in the last election, including financing. Claudio Valencia, president of Espacio Cívico, reported that the tool that is made available to the public has been under development for four years. “The first version came out in 2018 and now the third version is released. Dozens of people have supported the data collection work (…) ”, he explained. The information that can be accessed by entering the platform, , is based on what has been published by the Electoral Tribunal (TE), the National Assembly, the Comptroller General of the Republic and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The members of a sect that allegedly exploited minors and adults at work were taken this Thursday to a guarantee control hearing. The Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime is requesting the legalization of the arrests, formulation of charges and the application of precautionary measures. In the operation called Omega, raids were carried out on Calle 50, Via Argentina, Avenida 12 de Octubre, in the capital; and the Farallón sector, in the province of Coclé. In these actions, the prosecutors together with the National Police captured four Venezuelans, a Brazilian and a Canadian, who oversaw recruiting and monitoring the victims. Nearly 28 victims were required to work in the streets selling costume jewelery and then hand over the money obtained to those in charge of the sect. This was the way the group was financed.

The National Police confirmed this Thursday that investigations began after the discovery of a human head in the La Providencia sector, San Miguelito district. According to an initial report from the Police, a citizen alert was received that human remains were found and that agents of the entity arrived at the place, in the township of Belisario Porras, and located the head of a person. The head of the San Miguelito Police Zone, Bill Rodríguez, announced that the investigations are coordinated with the personnel of the Public Ministry to determine the causes of the incident. Likewise, it was reported that the canine division specialized in the search for human remains carried out an inspection in the area to try to locate other elements. A similar event occurred on December 2 when a human head was found in the Cerro Patacón landfill.

The First Settlement Court for Criminal Cases issued a definitive dismissal in favor of the former minister of Demetrio Papadimitriu who was being followed in a complaint for the alleged commission of the crime of unjustified enrichment through contracts related to the National Aid Program (PAN). The court ruling, which was released this Thursday, indicates that upon reviewing the evidence provided within the investigation by the prosecution, it was determined that the former official obtained income from known sources and the figure of unjustified enrichment was not proven. The complaint against former minister Papadimitru was filed by lawyer Sidney Sitton, arguing that the former official was the creator of the PAN and that said entity has been the subject of multiple criminal investigations for irregularities in the allocation of contracts. The court accepted the recommendation made by the Descarga Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that urged a definitive dismissal, since an audit report from the Comptroller General of the Republic did not provide evidence of the crime of unjustified enrichment.

Panama plans to buy 1.7 million doses of the bivalent vaccine against covid-19 from the pharmaceutical duo Pfizer/BioNTech, which protects against the original Wuhan variant, as well as sublineages of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This was reported by Itzel de Hewitt, general coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health, who explained that the second batch received was 72,000 doses. On January 11, the first batch arrived with 75,600 doses, which allowed the vaccination of officials and immunocompromised people to begin. In addition, she said that when more doses arrive, the population will be informed of what the organization for the administration of this vaccine will be like. In order for a person to be inoculated with the bivalent vaccine, they must have two doses of the monovalent vaccine, recalled de Hewitt. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized on August 31 the bivalent formulations of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna covid-19 vaccines, for use as a single booster dose.

Wanda Díaz , the water wheel that traps floating solid waste in the Juan Díaz river, near the southern corridor, in the district of Panama, once again highlighted the serious problem that exists with the management of garbage from homes and with river pollution. The wheel with the heavy rains of last week managed to get about 2,500 pounds of plastic out of the river for recycling. Reports from the environmental organization Marea Verde indicate that from Wednesday, January 11 to Sunday, January 15, six containers of 15 cubic yards each with organic and non-organic waste were collected for proper disposal. This water wheel that works in conjunction with the floating barrier known as BoB, has been in operation since September 22, 2022, collecting mostly plastic bottles, balls, shoes, foam , deodorant containers, children’s toys, and refrigerators. , among other materials that float in the river.

A team of archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and engineers from various institutions work hard to unravel the lost stories in the beautiful spot on the Caribbean coast, where the engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli recommended in 1588 to build a fortress to defend the entrance of the Chagres River and thus protect the commercial route created by the Spanish Crown.The excavations carried out so far are bringing to light the solid structures that were part of the third version of the Castillo San Lorenzo el Real de Chagres, as well as remains of  the 18th century church of the town of Chagres that arose next to the military fortress.  It’s just the beginning. The project led by Tomás Mendizábal, archaeologist and researcher at the Center for Historical, Anthropological and Cultural Research of Panama (CIHAC-AIP), affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, is financed by the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt), and It has the support of important academic and research institutions in the country.

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