Friday 28th July 2023.

July 27, 2023


Two months after the publication of Parallel Decentralization , the National Decentralization Authority (AND) intends to hire the lawyer Ángel Luis Álvarez Torres for $190,000 for an “exceptional procedure” to respond to seven requirements received after the investigation and two prior ones.

La Prensa revealed on May 16 that the AND distributed more than $200 million to community boards outside the programs established by law, the majority with representatives of the government party or allies. In total, there were $242.9 million for community boards, municipalities and organizations, distributed in 15 provinces and counties between June 7, 2021 and May 8, 2023. Afterwards, the scramble continued recharged and to the rhythm of the PRD campaign : $18 million more.

As a result, there were formal complaints, requests for access to public information, and different citizen demands for the AND to be transparent, the Comptroller to audit, the justice system to investigate, and the Electoral Attorney General to guarantee equal conditions in the campaign for the elections of 2024. Curiously, that is the excuse of the institution in charge of managing and making transparent the funds for the new contract.

In the AND, however, there are lawyers: a Legal Department and 11 lawyers hired for a total of $17,200 dollars per month in the institution, in addition to a “lawyer’s assistant” with a salary of $1,200, according to data from the payroll published in their website . The one who earns the most, $4,000 per month, is a PRD delegate who started working in September 2019.

The AND has someone to legally represent it, but they still want to hire one more to respond to something that should be done routinely: how the funds are distributed. Why do you need another lawyer for $190 thousand?

There is “a specific situation “, with “particular elements and circumstances” that “demands an individual and precise evaluation of the legal aspects involved”, justifies the institution in a document of act number of “exceptional procedure”, published in Panamá Compra on July 25.

They then specified what the ” specific situation” is about: seven requests from the Administration Attorney’s Office and the Electoral Prosecutor’s Office after the publication of the La Prensa investigation, plus two previous cases in the Supreme Court of Justice presented by the independent deputy Juan Diego Vasquez.

A guarantee judge applied the precautionary measure of preventive detention for the only detainee for the robbery perpetrated at the Banco General branch in El Ingenio (Betania), from which the sum of $28,500 was stolen.

During a hearing held on Wednesday, the guarantee judge Justo Vargas decided to apply the provisional detention measure to a 45-year-old man, who was apprehended by the National Police for his alleged relationship with the robbery.

Judge Vargas also charged the apprehended for the crime of robbery, illicit association and based the detention measure applied due to the seriousness of the crimes charged, the risk of flight and the danger it represents for the community.

For her part, prosecutor Elizabeth Carrión −during the defense of the charges− alleged that in this case the apprehended man was linked through surveillance videos and the statements of some witnesses.

The suspect was detained by the National Police in an operation carried out in the El Rey County area, when he was traveling in a taxi supposedly used to escape the crime scene.

The robbery took place last Tuesday by four subjects who entered the bank, stripped the security agent guarding the bank of his firearm and seized the money that was in the boxes. Police are on the trail of the other three suspects.

Some 19 people were apprehended this Thursday, for allegedly conspiring to commit drug-related crimes.

It was the Sabik operation, carried out in the provinces of Panama and Coclé, to locate people dedicated to the reception, storage, traffic and transport of illicit substances, it was reported.

The first superior drug prosecutor, Marta Barrios, detailed that 27 raids were carried out, including proceedings in the Penonomé public prison. In fact, she stated that the main leader of this structured group is a person who is already under arrest and sentenced to seven years in prison for the crime of drug sales.

Barrios added that this person maintained an operational group outside the prison and which carried out micro-trafficking of drugs in the Penonomé and Antón sectors.

The prosecutor also explained that many of those apprehended today had criminal records for drug crimes.

Three agents of the National Police were apprehended in an operation carried out by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for the alleged commission of the crime against individual freedom in the form of extortion and against the public administration.

These results are obtained after the development of four search procedures in the provinces of Panamá Oeste and Veraguas, specifically in the corregimientos of Pedregal and in the districts of Arraiján and Santiago, after a complaint that reported that they had collected money as a result of extortion from a foreign citizen, at a checkpoint.

The investigation specifies that these people −through intimidation− induced a citizen of Asian origin to hand over 5,000 dollars illegally. In this event, a woman was also arrested.

During the proceedings, documents, cash, technological equipment and other evidence were seized that may be related to the investigations being carried out by the judicial authorities.

The Social Security Fund (CSS) received 22-line medicines that they plan to distribute to the 72 health facilities in the coming weeks.

The drugs, which arrived this week, are for pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis, depression, asthma, cancer and high blood pressure, among others.

The drugs arrive amid multiple complaints from users and doctors for their shortage of supply.

The national director of Logistics of the institution, Rigoberto Vargas, explained that a Joint Task Force was formed between the General Directorate, Purchasing and Logistics to coordinate the delivery of medicines with suppliers.

He added that so far they have received 6.2 million amlodipine tablets, 5 million simvastatin, 2.5 million loratadine, 264,000 antidepressants, 378 for cancer treatment and 7,255 asthma inhalers, among others.

In addition, he said that the Comptroller General endorsed contracts for the supply of medicines in recent days, while the CSS manages with the suppliers the delivery of all the contingent purchased in the shortest possible time.

While Eliécer Cortés, president of the Special Commission for the Supply of Medicines of the CSS, pointed out that high volumes of medicines are being received daily, including those for common and chronic use, which are dispatched to the different executing units nationwide. in search of reaching a 95% supply.

For her part, Enma Pinzón, president of the Association of Patients with Critical, Chronic and Degenerative Illnesses, after participating in a follow-up meeting on the subject of medicines, described yesterday as “effective” the fact that the Comptroller General of the Republic has endorsed 100 contracts.

“We are pleased to receive information, we as patients have clear information where the critical knots are, and we can also collaborate to untangle them,” she said.

In recent weeks, the CSS has had to deal with shortages of medicines and debt with suppliers.

The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) reported that it issued a surveillance notice for the passage of tropical wave number 18 of the season.

The entity reported that the notice extends until midnight on Saturday, July 29 and is for all regions of the country. The wave presents favorable wind flows to generate downpour events with significant storms and even possible gusts of winds in our sector, Imhpa said.

The authorities warn the population to take due precautions for possible river floods, landslides and windy conditions.

The Spanish cyclist Oscar Sevilla (Team Medellín-EPM) achieved the crown of the Tour of Panama 2023, which ended yesterday.

The closing of this sporting event consisted of a stage of 111 kilometers on the coastal strip 3, which was won by the Panamanian Christofer Jurado (National Aeronaval Service).

In this sixth and last stage there were 15 laps that took place in this circuit, in which Jurado surpassed in the sprint the Costa Rican Sebastián Brenes (Seven Card-Economy-Lacoinex) and also the Panamanian Franklin Archibold (Panama is Culture and Values).

“It has been a victory that gives us a lot of mental strength, it encourages us to move forward in this sport, which is very difficult and you have to be fully involved,” said Jurado, at the end of the tour in the Panamanian capital.


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