Friday 20th May 2022.

May 20, 2022


The report from the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reports that there were no deaths due to covid-19 for this Thursday, so there are 8,211 accumulated deaths in the country, for a fatality rate of 1.0%. The report also highlighted that there are 3,842 are new infections, in the last 24 hours a total of 17,541 tests were applied in the country, which is equivalent to a positivity rate of 22%. According to the Minsa, in Panama there are 29,478 active cases, of which 29,239 are in isolation and 239 hospitalized. Those who are in isolation are divided into 29,158 in their residence and 81 in the so-called hospital hotels. Meanwhile, those hospitalized are 204 in a room and 35 in intensive care units.

With a new strategy, the Coalición Unidos por Colón (Cuco) began this Thursday, its eleventh day of general strike. Cuco began this Thursday with a demonstration that started from 10th Street and Central Avenue until it reached 16th Street, where the entrance and exit of the city of Colón remain closed. While the march went by, some of its members beat pailas and also wore the style of clothing of the black ethnic group and chanted slogans, such as “this fight does not belong to one, this fight belongs to everyone, the fight is fighting!” and “down with the high cost of living, down with the price of fuel!”

The plenary session of the Electoral Court (TE) agreed to the request of the National Directorate of Electoral Organization and declared the suspension of the criminal electoral jurisdiction of former President Ricardo Martinelli, in his capacity as president of the Realizing Goals (RM) party.This was recorded in edict 27-2022 published on the morning of this Thursday, May 19, 2022. The plenary session of this court is made up of magistrates Alfredo Juncá, Heriberto Araúz and Eduardo Valdés Escoffery. The edict also bears the signature of Myrtha Varela de Durán, general secretary of the TE. It is worth mentioning that the suspension also applies to the rest of the directors of RM. “To notify the interested parties they post the edict in a visible place in the General Secretariat of the Electoral Tribunal, yesterday at 8:00 a.m., for a period of 24 hours,” it was stated. In other words, it will be necessary to wait at least 24 hours –until this Friday– for the decision to be executed, the parties being notified; It will be at that moment when former president Martinelli loses his Jurisdictional privilege.

The Chancellor of the Republic, Erika Mouynes , said that Panama has issues to move forward and an action plan with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to address deficiencies in money laundering, but said that “they cannot catch us as a goat expiatory where they put us in all the headlines, when really we are not the problem. These statements were made this Thursday, May 19, within the framework of the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America, which is being held in Panama. The day before, in the same forum, but in an interview with Bloomberg , Mouynes referred to a recent report that indicates that the G-7 countries are among those with the greatest financial secrecy and questioned why Panama is on the gray lists. .

The Third Liquidator Court of Criminal Causes , in charge of Judge Baloísa Marquínez , was supposed to resume this Thursday morning, May 19, the preliminary hearing of the process that is being followed for alleged money laundering in the purchase of the group Editora Panamá América, SA ( Epasa) allegedly with public funds (New Business case). In this process there are 46 accused for the alleged commission of the crime against the economic order, in the form of money laundering. However, Judge Marquínez had to suspend the act, because four lawyers did not appear and did not present any justification. Each was reprimanded with a $100 fine. Two other attorneys did file a medical incapacity. The Third Court for Criminal Cases has established an alternate date for this hearing from July 4 to 6, 2022.

For the first time in our republican life, the children of a former Panamanian president are guilty, before the US justice system, of crimes associated with money laundering. And like many pages of our history, this one leaves behind a not inconsiderable international trail: criminal cases in Panama, self-exile in the United States, migratory caravan through Central America, capture in Guatemala, extradition and jail in Brooklyn. The two processes involve the most powerful contractors from the 2009-2014 period. The defendants never appeared in person; they left their lawyers and left. It is ironic that the foreign country in which they initially sought refuge is the one in which they have ended up being investigated, extradited, prosecuted, and—as of tomorrow—convicted.

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