Monday 17th June 2024.

June 16, 2024


Theater, cinema, literature, music, fashion, arts and culture in general, in addition to the creation of technological programs such as video games and software , design and audiovisual production among other activities represent part of the so-called creative industry. that moves millions of dollars and generates an economic and social impact in countries.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) , Juan Arias , recently highlighted the importance of creative and cultural industries as an engine of economic and social development in the country and urged that this sector be promoted.

In a statement, he highlighted Cciap’s continuous efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and strengthen the creative economy, aligning with the definitions and objectives promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

According to the IDB, the creative economy includes the production of goods and services based on human talent and the richness of cultural heritage. These industries combine culture, art, technology and commerce, offering broad potential for economic growth.

The Chamber highlights the creation six years ago of the Creative and Cultural Industries Commission within the union, with the objective of fostering consensus and strategies for the promotion of these industries in Panama. This initiative seeks to articulate efforts that promote the development and competitiveness of the creative economy in the country.

They assure that since the return of Expocomer after the covid-19 pandemic, a special space has been dedicated to high-level parades and catwalks, highlighting new trends in design and modeling. In addition, during Expocomer 2024, a significant space was allocated to the creative and cultural industries with the creation of the cultural plaza, where national products were presented and presentations were made on the potential of this sector.

“The Cciap is committed in the long term to contributing to the Creative and Cultural Industries being located in their rightful place in the national economy, as axes of development, pride and identity,” concluded the president of the CCIAP, underlining the vision of the union for the next five years.

The rise in transportation services, electricity, and restaurants and hotels triggered consumer prices at the end of May.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), closed last month with an interannual variation of 1.3% at the national level and 1.6% in Panama and San Miguelito.

The largest increases were in the transportation group, with increases of 3.2%, followed by miscellaneous goods and services, where increases of 2.7% were reported, and in housing, water, electricity and gas, with increases of 2.5% on average.

In the case of transportation, the increase was largely due to the increase in passenger transportation by plane, with increases of 10.1% in May. This sector has been affected by the rise in aviation fuel.

According to the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), in May the average price of jet fuel used by airplanes was $100.7 per barrel, reaching a maximum of $103. This price was 10% above the May 2023 average, when it stood at $91.4.

Another line that led to the increase in transportation was the rise in automobile fuel, which experienced an increase in rates of 8.8%. Increases of 4% in school transportation service and 3.4% in automobile maintenance and repair costs were also reported.

In the case of the housing, water, electricity and gas group, the average increase of 2.5% reported in May was caused by the 9.3% increase in services for the conservation and repair of housing, in addition to the 4.1% increase in electricity rates and 2.4% in the cost of gas.

The increase in miscellaneous services was largely due to the increase in insurance, which rose on average by 10.5%. Specifically, car insurance increased by 12.7% and health insurance increased by 9.3%.

The Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (IFARHU) announced that the start of payment of the 2023 University Financial Assistance will be made on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, instead of Monday, June 17, as previously announced. .

The institution has indicated that the date change is due to inconveniences in the distribution of checks from the headquarters to the different regional and regional offices.

This has forced the institution to adjust the schedule to ensure that all beneficiaries receive their payments in a timely manner.

In addition, they clarify that on Monday, June 17, the new schedule that will govern the different headquarters nationwide will be published.

The deputy elected by the Panameñista Party, José Luis Varela , declared in an interview in the Knockout that he is not closed to considering an amnesty law by the National Assembly that is installed on July 1.

Varela, brother of former president Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) , one of those prosecuted in the Odebrecht case , did not specify the type of legislation he was referring to. The deputy elected by the Realizing Goals (RM) party , Luis Eduardo Camacho, has said that he would promote an initiative to benefit Ricardo Martinelli , former president of the Republic (2009-2014) and founder of RM, who is sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in prison for the crime of money laundering.

The Constitution establishes that the Assembly can only decree, by law, amnesty for political crimes. That is the reason why the president of the Fundación Libertad Ciudadana, Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, Lina Vega Abad , suggests that a law in this direction would not only be a violation of the Constitution , but would represent a mockery of the rule of law. and would send “a terrible message of impunity to Panamanian society.”

Some deputies elected by free nomination and from the Other Path Movement, who number 23 out of a total of 71 in the next Assembly, were also against an amnesty for a common crime such as money laundering.

It is worth remembering that both Ricardo Martinelli and Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004) decreed pardons for common crimes that were later annulled by the Supreme Court of Justice .

Janine Prado , elected representative and next head of the independent Vamos group, says that the amnesty only applies to certain crimes. “If what is sought is, through an amnesty, to free from criminal responsibility people convicted of cases related to corruption or money laundering related to corruption, of course we could not agree, in any case,” she assured.

Ernesto Cedeño , elected representative of the Otro Camino Movement, assured that there is a possibility that someone will present a bill in that direction, but constitutionally it is not viable: the Magna Carta says that it is only for political crimes. “No one in Panama, that I am aware of, has been sanctioned for political crimes,” he said.

Political crimes are those that are committed against the internal administration of the State and electoral crimes, Cedeño explained.

Article 159 of the Constitution limits the legislative function of the National Assembly to “decree amnesty for political crimes.” And 184, relating to the functions of the President of the Republic and his respective minister, states that he can “decree pardons for political crimes, reduce sentences and grant conditional freedom to those convicted of common crimes.”

The current president-elect, José Raúl Mulino, promised during the campaign to “help” Martinelli in some way, but on July 1 he will swear to respect the Constitution and the Law.

Since February 7, 2024, Martinelli took refuge in the Nicaraguan embassy in Panama City, after losing the last judicial remedy he had left to avoid going to prison after being convicted for the so-called New Business case (purchase with public funds of Editora Panamá América ).

It must also be remembered that on at least two occasions the Supreme Court of Justice has annulled pardons issued by presidents. This was the case of Mireya Mocoso and Ricardo Martinelli.

On June 30, 2008, the full Court declared executive decrees No. 317, 318 and 321 unconstitutional, through which Moscoso had pardoned people who were the subject of investigation, others already accused or prosecuted, as well as convicted of the commission of various types of crimes.

Last May, the second liquidator of criminal cases judge Águeda Rentería sentenced police agents Artemio Díaz, Rafael Caicedo, Rodolfo Buigobu and Ron Rodríguez to 60 months in prison for their participation in the death of fishermen Dagoberto and Rigoberto Pérez, who were killed on May 19, 2009 in the Boca La Caja area by a Police patrol boat.

The sentence was finalized 15 years later because the defendants benefited from a pardon granted by Martinelli. These pardons were declared unconstitutional by the Court, so the criminal process was resumed by the Public Ministry, which requested a conviction.

In 2019, police sergeant Vionel López Frías was sentenced to 8 years in prison for the crime of manslaughter. López Frías was the only one of those investigated in this process who was not granted a pardon.

The designated Ministry of Environment, Juan Carlos Navarro , stated that it is urgent to stop harmful and illegal behaviors in their tracks; fine the guilty and protect hydrographic basins in a comprehensive manner.

Navarro’s comments arose after the production of the Chitré water treatment plant had to be suspended this weekend, after the Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan) found the presence of microorganisms in the water of the La Villa river. that feeds this water treatment plant.

Idaan, through a statement, reported that in the case of the La Villa river where the raw water intake of the Roberto Reyna water treatment plant is located, in Chitré, Herrera, there was high turbidity and possible dragging of organic material, due to which operations were suspended immediately.

In fact, a multidisciplinary team from Panama and Herrera carried out a deep cleaning of all areas without the presence of microorganisms being found in the plant, so Idaan ensures that the water supply distributed to the population complies with the standards governing the quality of drinking water.


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