Monday 11th March 2024

March 10, 2024


The plenary session of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) confirmed the 11-1 agreement of March 4, 2024, through which the candidacies for the position of president and deputy of Ricardo Martinelli are disqualified . The confirmation responds to the appeal for reconsideration presented by lawyer Alejandro Pérez, legal representative of the political group Realizing Metas (RM), a political party founded by former President Martinelli.

This is the full agreement 13-1 of March 9, 2024, contained in edict 37-2024-SG In this way, the 11-1 agreement issued by the TE on March 4 is confirmed , in which Martinelli was disqualified from competing in the elections on May 5, for the positions of President of the Republic and main deputy to the National Assembly for the 8-4 circuit, nominated by RM and Alianza.

It was reported that the decision adopted by the plenary session of the TE will be published, for 24 hours, by edict in the General Secretariat of the institution.

Martinelli has been “asylumned” at the headquarters of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Panama since last February 7, five days after the Supreme Court of Justice did not admit an appeal against the sentence that sentenced him to 128 months in prison for money laundering. capitals in the New Business case.

It must be remembered that article 180 of the Constitution prohibits a person sentenced to 5 years in prison or more from being elected president or vice president of the Republic.

Thus, José Raúl Mulino will now be the presidential candidate of RM and Alianza; while Martinelli’s application in the 8-4 circuit is assumed by his lawyer Alejandro Pérez , who was his substitute.

With 56 days left until the general elections in the country, the metropolitan archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa, encouraged citizens not to be “deceived” by the false promises of some candidates.

“Analyze his proposals, his life path and the congruence between one and the other,” said Ulloa in his Sunday homily on March 10.

Ulloa also urged Panamanians not to be impressed by advertising campaigns and not to vote “because of the inertia of always doing so for a political party.” “He knows people, analyzes their history and current life,” he emphasized. “And don’t trust campaign promises,” he repeated.

In the homily, Ulloa reiterated that the Catholic Church does not anoint any candidate and only seeks to educate each of its members so that they can make the best decisions, for the good of the country.

A total of 3,004,083 citizens will be eligible to vote in the general election on Sunday, May 5, 2024, in which 1,511,049 (50.3%) are women and 1,493,034 (49.7%) are men, according to statistics provided by the Electoral Tribunal of Panama.

Comptroller Gerardo Solís reported that between 2020 and 2023 they made 1,135 accountability reports to local governments in Panama . However, according to the official, everything is practically in order, since according to the results of these investigations, 97% comply with the processes and manage the money appropriately. Only 3% need to make “adjustments.”

That is to say, despite the multiple scandals over the million-dollar disbursements of parallel decentralization , in the community boards and municipalities of Panama, according to the comptroller, there is no waste, mismanagement of funds, administrative disorder or signs of corruption. All thanks to what Solís calls “the culture of correction.”

Solís addressed the issue of audits when independent deputy Juan Diego Vásquez questioned him about the San Miguelito case. Vásquez said that he presented documents to the Comptroller’s Office that showed that the community boards of that district delivered all the support in one month: bags of food, construction materials, among others.

“We pay for audits, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Explain to me,” said the deputy.

This is how Solís, a former PRD activist and fervent defender of Laurentino Cortizo’s government, began to talk about his “culture of correction.”

“We have strengthened interaction with community boards and municipalities,” said the official, who, at the request of the independent deputy, responded that in this administration they had carried out 561 audits.

In addition, he boasted that a month ago they began the pilot plan of a real-time accountability program to analyze the disbursements of each community board. “This will lead us, of course, to correct any human imperfection that is occurring in the management of funds, so that there is better management of resources,” he explained.

A report from the Attorney General’s Office, published in September 2023, revealed that of 101 audits requested from the Comptroller’s Office by the anti-corruption prosecutors of the Accusatory Criminal System between January 2, 2020 and that date, only four had been received.

But in the Assembly, the power of the State that appointed him on August 13, 2019, the comptroller said that his is “the administration that has carried out the most audits in the history of the Comptroller’s Office, both forensic and general audits.”

Of the 561 audits, he added, 44% have “errors.” “It means that every day when we go out to do an audit, the audits turn out better, they turn out well,” said the man in charge of supervising the country’s finances.

Federico Humbert, comptroller during the period 2015-2020, provided multiple audits to the Public Ministry to support cases of corruption, and on one occasion he brought to that office 220 boxes with 186 audits carried out in different community boards and municipalities in the country. At that time, Humbert told then-prosecutor Kenia Porcell that the information provided had “the weight and structure” necessary to open judicial proceedings.

The children’s games at the Omar Torrijos Herrera Recreational and Cultural Park require urgent renovation due to their obvious deterioration. During a tour of the place, it was possible to verify the absence of paint, the lack of protective mesh, and the presence of deteriorated and rusty structures, thus turning it into an abandoned area.

The children’s games, the dinosaur area, the snack houses, the swings and the bathrooms are neglected. Even the green of the park, in contrast to the primary colors that the children’s area maintained, has been lost.

During the visit made by the La Prensa team to Parque Omar, the deterioration of several children’s games was observed. Even a group of children, in their innocence, ran from one place to another without realizing the abandonment of the area.

We had the opportunity to talk with María Teresa Jaramillo , a mother who took advantage of the morning to play and enjoy herself with her son.

“It is unfortunate to see the state these games are in. Being a park frequented by children, they should be in optimal condition. With the resources of our country, we should have first-class children’s facilities,” said the visitor The special games area for the disabled is also deteriorated. Only one game has more attractiveness, clear colors, protective meshes and the floor with garden rugs. This is the game that children visit the most because it is in better condition.

Omar Park, which receives more than 5 thousand people a day, is under the umbrella of the Office of the First Lady, Jazmín Colón de Cortizo . It is located in the center of the city, in the district of San Francisco.

The park has 56 hectares and, in addition to recreational facilities, it has sports fields, walking trails, the National Library, the dome, the amphitheater, a BMX race track, bike paths, a swimming pool and food kiosks, among others. In addition, it is widely used to hold health fairs, among other recreational activities.

Given this situation, which has been reported since last year by some visitors to the park, a project was launched to remodel and adapt the cultural and children’s facilities of the recreational center. The tender was in the hands of the Ministry of the Presidency .

In a joint operation between agents of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) and officials of the Public Ministry, 2.1 tons of drugs were seized in the waters of Punta Mala, province of Los Santos.

According to the preliminary report from the authorities, two people were arrested: one of Panamanian nationality and the other of Nicaragua. In addition, a craft boat in which the drugs were transported was seized.

The Los Santos Drug Prosecutor, Carmen Córdoba, reported that the illicit substance was distributed in 41 packages, containing a total of 2,112 rectangular packages.

Those arrested were placed at the disposal of the corresponding authorities for due judicial process.

For his part, Rusbel Atencio, head of the fourth air-naval region, pointed out that the vessel was detected during a routine patrol and that the two people on board tried to flee, but were detained shortly after.


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