Friday 5th April 2024.

April 4, 2024


A ruling by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice rejected as inadmissible and confirmed the sentence of 96 months in prison for the former director of the National Aid Program (PAN) Giacomo Tamburelli and the former candidate for deputy Heriberto ‘ Yunito ‘ Vega and three other people for the crime of embezzlement to the detriment of that entity.

The ruling, under the presentation of Judge Juan Francisco Castillo (alternate for María Eugenia López) and the endorsement of his colleagues Maribel Cornejo and Ariadne García of the Criminal Chamber, ratified the sentence applied by the First Liquidation Court of Criminal Cases on October 4, 2022, in which the defendants were sanctioned for the crime of fraudulent embezzlement to the detriment of the PAN.

The magistrates of the Criminal Chamber also maintained against the defendants the accessory penalty of disqualifying them from the exercise of public functions for the same period of prison sanction, once this is served.

Initially on August 8, 2018, the liquidated Fifteenth Court then headed by Leslie Loaiza issued a dismissal in favor of all the accused, but the Public Ministry (MP) filed an appeal before the Superior Court for the Settlement of Criminal Cases that He reversed that decision and sentenced them to prison.

The MP began the investigation of this case after a complaint filed by Erasmo Elías Muñoz, on April 2, 2014, against several PAN officials for embezzlement and influence peddling to favor candidates of a political party in the execution of works. in the province of Herrera.

Following an audit report prepared by the Comptroller General of the Republic requested by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, it was possible to establish a property damage for the sum of $100 thousand in infrastructure works carried out in Chitré, province of Herrera.

In investigations carried out by the prosecutor’s office, it was found that some of the works were never completed.

Once the ruling of the Criminal Chamber reaches the First Criminal Cases Court, that office must issue the letters to the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) in order to locate those sanctioned so that they can serve their prison sentences.

Melitón Arrocha, candidate for the free nomination and the Social Independent Alternative Party (PAIS), revealed that the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic have been in talks towards the elections of this coming May 5.

With this, Arrocha dropped the idea that there would be the possibility of support between candidates 31 days before the elections. However, he did not affirm this. It was a wink. A touch of audacity or provocation.

“Conversations are taking place, from all sides,” Arrocha expressed in an interview on Telemetro Reporta , emphasizing that he has received calls from the other campaigns and that he himself has sought approaches to the other candidates.

Although he did not make it clear which of the other seven candidates he had spoken with, he did let it be known that strictly for ideological reasons, he would not call the free candidate, Maribel Gordón.

According to Arrocha, these approaches do not mean that he will withdraw from the competition for the presidential seat. On the contrary, he believes that these conversations are necessary in democracy.

The partial strike of a group of employees of the National Customs Authority has been hindering trade during the morning of this Thursday in April, specifically the procedures that are needed to liquidate the merchandise that arrives in the country.

This was warned by the Panamanian Association of Freight Agencies, in a call joined by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama and the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE).

The three associations express their concern about the strike that is being carried out by a group of public workers from the National Customs Authority.

This movement, which interrupts the regular flow of customs procedures, becomes an obstacle to trade and has a direct impact on the local market, employment and the economy in general, the unions said.

Adolfo Fábrega, president of the Chamber of Commerce, stressed that after agreements reached last month through dialogue, it is worrying that this strike has been triggered, despite the fact that it was understood that said agreements were being fulfilled.

An urgent call is made to customs officials to cease this measure and resume dialogue as a means to resolve their differences,” he said.

An attempt was made to contact the workers to find out the status of the strike, but it has not been possible to establish communication.

The officials, united in the National Association of Customs Officials, demand the permanence of their positions, the payment of bonuses, the cessation of layoffs and the hiring of personnel two months after the end of the current administration of Laurentino Cortizo.

An official was arrested this Thursday, April 4, for her alleged connection to an economic injury of $600 thousand to the detriment of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), the National Police reported.

The procedure was carried out in coordination with agents of the Public Ministry in the Llanos de Curundú sector and the person is wanted for the alleged commission of the crime against the public administration, in its form of different forms of embezzlement and against public faith.

According to the Police report, judicial investigations have been underway since 2022 and the case is related to the alleged diversion of funds from the benefit program granted to milk producers.

It was reported that the funds were allegedly diverted to a fictitious company dedicated to the preparation of cheeses.

Likewise, it is highlighted that in addition to the arrest of the official, search procedures were carried out in the town of Nuevo Arraiján (Western Panama); Documents and technological equipment possibly related to the case were seized.

The arrested person was sent to the corresponding authorities for the corresponding procedures by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

Personnel from the Panama Fire Department (CBP) continue at the Cerro Patacón landfill, where garbage burying work is being carried out in the adjacent area where the last fire occurred, in the sector known as the “top of the hill.” .

Lieutenant Colonel Ángel Delgado, Secretary General of the CBP , explained that the last fire recorded on March 15, was completely extinguished. It took him a week to get it under control and extinguish it. “In this sector there were only small fumaroles that have been suffocated by pouring earth over them,” he indicated.

Delgado explained that this procedure of pouring earth over the entire area affected by the fire is carried out in order to completely eliminate any material exposed to combustion.

At the moment, 15 volunteer firefighters work permanently on Cerro Patacón, with a firefighting vehicle and a rapid intervention vehicle, according to the lieutenant colonel.

The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) issued a watch warning for significant rains and storms nationwide.

The notice was issued in the morning hours of this Thursday, April 4, and will be in effect until 11:59 pm on Monday, April 8 .

The Imhpa explained that Panama is currently in the process of transition from the dry season to the rainy season and that various wind flows are currently being observed in the atmosphere and the passage of a cold frontal system through the Caribbean.

“It will be generating a favorable environment for the occurrence of rainy events accompanied by electric shocks and some gusts of wind over the national territory,” stated in the entity’s report. This Thursday, isolated rains have been reported in different sectors and in some parts of the capital city the sky is cloudy.

Panama is located as one of the destination cities for tourism for meetings, congresses, events and conventions in Latin America and the Caribbean aimed at companies from both the region and the world.

Between the years 2021 and 2023, through several congresses, it was possible to generate an economic impact of $265 million. From that date until 2027, nearly 220 events have been arranged, and for this year 2024, more than 50 conferences are on the agenda in which an impact of $70 million is expected.

Eugenia Powell , director of business development for the meetings industry at the Tourism Promotion Fund (Promtur), highlighted that the meetings industry is the most important catalyst for the global economy and a reflection of the recovery.

“Panama is a global competitor to attract meetings and conventions,” says Powell, noting that more and more association, corporate, and travel and incentive conferences are being attracted.

Powell highlighted that in 2023, a total of 84 events were held, ranging from corporate, associative and incentive events, which allowed an impact of $110 million. “187 thousand hotel room reservations were generated per night, around 39 thousand visitors participated in these congresses and events, and 32 thousand jobs were generated,” Powell explained, highlighting that contributions of $10 were generated for the country in taxes alone. millions.

Within these events, Powell commented that 81 events were held last year at the Panama Convention Center, of which 29 were international (10 had an incentive plan) and 52 were national.


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