Friday 21st July 2023

July 20, 2023


Former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, sentenced to 128 months in prison for money laundering with respect to the purchase of the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), will have one year to pay the $19.2 million fine imposed by criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez .

This is stated in Order Vario 136 of July 19, in which the judge specifies that the payment of this fine, imposed as an accessory penalty , is equivalent to “twice the economic benefit received and duly quantified” and the convicted Martinelli has a period of 12 months to make the payment in favor of the National Treasury, once the sentence is enforceable.

In this way, a “correction” is introduced to the ruling dated July 17 (but disclosed on July 18), which indicated that Martinelli should pay the fine “once the main penalty has been served.” The main penalty is a sentence of 10 years and 8 months in prison.

Since Marquínez’s ruling is of the first instance, it can be appealed. Martinelli’s defense has already announced that they will do so. Therefore, the sentence is not final yet.

The “correction” to the decision of the so-called New Business case would mean that the terms for the presentation of appeals are postponed.

Marquínez, in addition to Martinelli, convicted four other defendants (Janeth Vásquez, Valentín Martínez, Iván Arrocha and Daniel Ochy) and acquitted 10 others.

The pre-candidates for various positions of popular election by the Panameñista Party had until 11:59 pm last night, to proselytize politically.

As of 12:01 am this morning the 21st, they will no longer be able to campaign because the reflection period begins and, therefore, the electoral ban.

This was recalled by the Tribunal Electoral (TE) in a statement. Those who defy this provision may be penalized, in accordance with the Electoral Code.

“The dissemination of electoral propaganda, paid or donated, in favor of or against citizens or parties, as well as caravans and concentrations, is prohibited. They must refrain from distributing promotional items, sponsoring events in which the name of the party is used and advertising in conventional and digital media,” said the TE.

Article 265 of the Electoral Code establishes that the prohibition includes billboards, so they must be removed by the party or candidate at the expiration of the respective campaign period.

This Sunday, July 23, will be the primaries of Panamanista, where they will choose their presidential candidate. The only candidate is José Isabel Blandón.

Electoral observers from the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (UNIORE) will also participate in this primary election.

The Economy and Finance Commission of the National Assembly was installed this Thursday, July 20, and will be chaired by the deputy of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, Melchor Herrera, who had seven votes in favor. One abstention was recorded in the vote.

The president of the Assembly, Jaime Vargas, also a pro-government party figure, was present at the protocol ceremony, who led the swearing-in.

Herrera announced that the commission will address “immediately” the bill presented by the Minister of Housing, Rogelio Paredes, on preferential mortgage interest.

“It will undoubtedly have an economic impact on the housing aspect and will help us to energize the economic sector of the middle class that has been hit so hard,” Herrera said.

In addition, he stressed that despite the fact that the State contract with Minera Panamá will be analyzed by the Commerce Commission, the instance that he chairs will give its considerations regarding the contract’s tax structure.

PRD deputies Gonzalo González and Fernando Arce were elected vice president and secretary of the Economy and Finance Commission, respectively.

The rest of the commissioners are Arquersio Arias (PRD), Pedro Torres (PRD), Miguel Fanovich (Molirena), Arnulfo Díaz (Cambio Democrático), Dalia Bernal (Cambio Democrático) and Edison Broce (Independiente).

In the midst of the dispute over the creation of a new bench of the Cambio Democrático (CD) party, the deputies of that party considered “the rebels”, re-elected Yanibel Ábrego as head of the bench for the period 2023-2024.

“My fellow deputies have elected me for another year as head of the bench of the Cambio Democrático party,” the deputy reported this Wednesday on her Instagram account.

Ábrego leads a group of 12 deputies who do not follow the line of the party president and CD presidential candidate, Rómulo Roux. They are deputies Marylín Vallarino (circuit 13-1), Dalia Bernal (8-2), Nelson Jackson (3-2), Hernán Delgado (8-1), Leopoldo Archibold (12-1), Arnulfo Díaz (5-1), Lilia Batista (8-5), Fátima Agrazal (9-1), Leopoldo Benedetti (3-1), Sergio Chello Gálvez (8-3), José María Herrera (13-3) and Mayín Correa 8-4 .

These deputies, who also sympathize with former President Ricardo Martinelli, have managed, together with the PRD caucus, to be among the main commissions of the National Assembly and leave aside the Roux caucus, called “Good things come”, in which four CD deputies are active: Génesis Arjona, Ana Giselle, Edwin Zúñiga and Rony Araúz.

Despite the fact that the president of the National Assembly, PRD member Jaime Vargas, assures that the “good thing comes” bench complied with all the formalities for its creation, he is reluctant to make it official.

This, despite the fact that the Administration Attorney, Rigoberto González, has said, based on the Organic Internal Regulation of the Assembly, that the mere fact of complying with the requirements makes the bench official as such.

The lawsuit filed to declare null the proclamation of the rector of the National Autonomous University of Chiriquí (Unachi), Etelvina Medianero de Bonagas, advances in the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

The appeal, presented by the professor and former candidate for rector, Edwin Samudio, was admitted by the Third Chamber of Administrative and Labor Litigation.

Said Chamber proceeded to request from the Unachi Superior Election Court an authenticated copy of the proclamation act of the rector, who was re-elected for five more years (2023-2028).

Samudio was one of the rector’s rivals in the elections held by Unachi on April 26. Medianero de Bonagas won the contest with 57.64% of the votes, thanks to a weighting system in which teachers represent 60% of the votes. This norm was sued before the Court, as unconstitutional.

After the elections, Samudio was censored by the university. That house of higher studies, through its General University Council No. 3 of 2023, approved last Thursday, May 11, 2023, a motion of no confidence against Samudio.

The members of that council accused him of “maintaining a disqualification and smear campaign against the highest authority of the university center – Etelvina Medianero de Bonagas – and therefore against the institution”, a decision that was adopted four days after Samudio’s interview was published in the Knockout section of the newspaper La Prensa, under the title ‘What is in Unachi is a dictatorship’, Edwin Samudio, Sunday, May 7, 2023 .

The thermal sensation in Panama for this Thursday, July 20, was “quite high”, which could have even reached 42 degrees Celsius, according to the meteorologist, Emanuel Velásquez, from the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama.

For this reason, causing a problem with heat stroke that forces them to look for alternatives to cool off.

The authorities had issued a vigilance notice due to the high wind chill and it was valid until 7:00 pm last night.

These high temperatures are due to little or moderate cloud cover over the country. Additionally, there is a high incidence of solar radiation generating temperatures that exceed 32 degrees.

The long-awaited Women’s Soccer World Cup kicks off this Thursday in which Australia and New Zealand open their borders to receive visits from the best 30 teams on the planet.

In this group is the women’s team of Panama, which makes history by participating for the first time in this contest, which is the most prestigious in the sport.

For this commitment, La Roja arrives with one of the best preparations of a national team, after playing five preparation games ( Colombia, Gibraltar, Spain and Japan ) and with a camp in Saudi Arabia.

“I feel that they are a little more confident. In the first minutes of the match against Japan, they had a good attitude of having the ball and in attack. We had not seen this before. Anything that is improvement is positive for the team. I think that these things should be seen”, said Amarelis De Mera , referring to the defeat against the Japanese team (5-0).

“We are light years away from those countries, it is our first participation, more than anything it is to gain experience and see what needs to be improved,” he added.

Those directed by Ignacio Quintana were in group F together with Brazil, Jamaica and France. They will debut next Monday (July 24) against the Canarinhas , at the Hindmarsh Stadium, starting at 6:00 am.


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