Monday 23rd January 2023.

January 23, 2023

Hours before the beginning of the directory of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , this Sunday, January 22, the former President of the Republic Martín Torrijos (2004-2009) published a message in which he harshly questions the leadership of the political group and asks to resume the ideology of “torrijismo”. “We Torrijistas should never have tolerated the crisis of the political, social and economic system that we have been experiencing for some time now in Panama,” he said. The former president, son of the founder of the PRD Omar Torrijos, considered that these omissions allowed the degradation of politics, corruption and clientelism to settle in politics “in hegemonic positions.” He assured that for several years it has been observed how leaders and rulers distance themselves from the needs of the people to “satisfy their own ambitions and interests.” “It is evident that democracy has been weakened, it is kidnapped, restricted and in the PRD it is about to disappear,” he added. He questioned the governments for the lack of decisions regarding the future of the Social Security Fund and other important issues for the country. “Today there is a disconnect between those who lead the PRD and the members that make it up,” he said. “It’s time for us torrijistas to stop looking the other way,” he added. One of the first to reply to Torrijos’s letter was the representative of San Miguelito, Raúl Pineda. “This is not the PRD that you abandoned 13 years ago. Where was he?” he said. The national directory of the collective meets today, Sunday, January 22, in Santiago de Veraguas to “update the statutes.” On January 18, the National Executive Committee of the party, through a statement, informed of the “strategic reserve of some positions of popular election”, without specifying them.

The deputy and president of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , Benicio Robinson, responded to the message published on the morning of this Sunday, January 22, by the former president of the Republic, Martín Torrijos, in which he questioned the leaders of the political group. Ironically, Robinson said: “He’s alive? I believed that he was no longer alive because he had not appeared for 13 years ”. According to Robinson, the former president now says that the party is “disappearing” when in fact it is growing, with a registration of almost 730,000 members. “Ask him how much he left when he was there,” challenged the deputy, who participates in the Extraordinary National Directorate in Santiago de Veraguas.In his opinion, the message that Torrijos published “is irresponsible” at a time when “unity to achieve a  victory in the 2024 elections” must prevail. “Precisely because of his irresponsibility we lost the election with Balbina Herrera and today he comes to criticize,” he said. “The PRD is called to make decisions that will affect the future of the collective. Hopefully they will become conscious thinking about Panama and its people, thinking about the PRD of Torrijista origin and of values, not about a clientelistic PRD and guided by the personal ambitions of its leaders”, added Torrijos.

The president of the Panameñista Party , José Blandón Figueroa, assured this Sunday, January 22, that the only formal conversation they have had for a possible electoral alliance is with Democratic Change and the Country Party. He announced that this week the Popular Party and Alianza will join the dialogue. “On national problems we will always be willing to talk with everyone, including the government itself and the PRD. From there to talk about possible alliances, there is a great distance, ”said Blandón, who this Sunday was in a party registration day. He indicated that the alliances for the 2024 general elections will be defined in September of this year “and not before.” This Sunday, the president of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Benicio Robinson, would have advanced that they maintain a rapprochement with the Panamanian movement for a possible alliance.

The environmental impact that the Cerro Patacón sanitary landfill is generating, in the town of Ancón, has entities such as the Ministry of the Environment (Miambiente) or the Ombudsman’s Office on alert. The environmental body informed La Prensa that according to the most recent inspections carried out, the sanitary landfill currently has a series of “repetitive” non-compliances, which generate environmental impacts due to the activities carried out on the site. Among the list of non-compliances indicated by Miambiente are: inadequate management of leachate (liquids that emanate from garbage), deficiency in the daily coverage of solid waste, which generates annoying odors, as well as internal roads with difficulty for the transit of collection vehicles and compacting equipment. Due to all these irregularities, the institution described as “imperative” that the necessary adjustments and corrective measures be carried out, to guarantee that the physical, biological and social environment of this area of ​​Ancón is not affected. At the moment, the Ministry of the Environment maintains a total of 6 open administrative processes, in relation to the activities that are carried out in the sanitary landfill of Cerro Patacón and that generate contamination. According to Miambiente, in conjunction with the Urban and Home Cleaning Authority (AAUD), they are evaluating new sites that meet the appropriate conditions for the transfer and final disposal of urban solid waste, which emanates from the districts of Panama and San Miguelito. . In turn, he reported that other options are being evaluated for the use of this waste, through its material and energy recovery, and through the use of new clean or sustainable technologies. The Cerro Patacón sanitary landfill was created in the 1980s and according to specialists it should be closed due to contamination and the growth of the urban area. One of them is Stanley Heckadon, a scientist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who in the 1980s was responsible for coordinating the plan to close the Panama Viejo landfill, where Costa del Este is now, and move it to what is now Cerro Patacon. ”We had to look for an option that would solve the environmental crisis and the protests of people against the then Panama Viejo landfill and Patacón was chosen. The plan was for the latter to be a sanitary landfill that would work for 25 or a maximum of 30 years, but that time has passed”, he says.In the words of Heckadon, all the landfills have expectations of use and that of Patacón was about three decades, which would also depend on the growth of  the population in places like the center of Panama City and its peripheries, as well as in the district of San Miguelito. The scientist recalls that, in those years, the city was smaller and ended in areas such as Panama Viejo and Juan Díaz, but now the urban footprint extends to corregimientos such as Pacora. ”I think we underestimated the speed at which Panama City would grow. Cerro Patacón has completed its useful life ”.

The 20th version of the Panama Jazz Festival –an event that seeks to inspire, educate and provide tools to build a better future for people– closed the curtain… and in what a way. And, as expected, thousands of people attended the traditional closing concert in the City of Knowledge quadrangle with the participation of the Puerto Rican salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa (San Juan, Puerto Rico, (1962). The City of Knowledge quadrangle was at its maximum capacity. Until 9:00 pm, the controlled entry of people who made long lines to make a space inside the place was allowed. Once inside, the large number of people installed with their families, pets… accommodated in blankets on the grass or their folding charis.Letters on the Table , It hurt less , If I don’t say it now , they the first songs with which Santa Rosa began his show, at around 9:15 pm  The Puerto Rican shared with the public how honored he felt to return to Panama, “a country where they treat him like one more.”He also had words for Danilo Pérez, the artistic director of the PJF, whom he described as a proud Panamanian, but not before congratulating him for carrying out this project for 20 years. His repertoire could not miss the song Conciencia, authored by the Panamanian Omar Alfanno. One of the best moments of the closing concert was when Santa Rosa and Danilo Pérez on the piano performed Para Vivir , by Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés, who died last November. The public responded with applause to the tribute. Another popular song was Que alguien me dice, a composition by the Panamanian Alfanno that was initially intended for the musical group Son by Four. However, in the end, Santa Rosa “stole it” from him, according to what he told the audience.What a way to love you was among the last songs performed by the salsa singer, whose presentation ended at 10:30 p.m.  “Long live Panama, long live music, long live art,” Pérez exclaimed in this activity that marked the closing of the PJF, where the motto of these 20 years was once again chanted: “More women, better country.”

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