Monday 26th February 2024.

February 25, 2024


Criminals tried to rob this Sunday, February 25, 2024, at the headquarters of the National Charity Lottery agency located in the Los Angeles area, on Ricardo J. Alfaro (Tumba Muerto) road, Panama City.

Official sources indicated that as a result of this attempted robbery with a firearm there are three dead: one of them is a Lottery security agent. The other deaths correspond to alleged assailants.

The police remain in the Los Angeles area and surrounding areas and have activated a security operation.

The commissioner of the National Police, Jorge Domínguez, said that at the moment there are six people – fully identified – who are involved in this case. “There could be more,” Domínguez added, indicating that in the next few hours raids will be carried out in other areas of the city, as part of the investigations into the case.  Domínguez also specified that at least two vehicles that were allegedly used in this robbery attempt, reported at around 12:30 pm this Sunday, have been recovered.

The Ministry of Security reported this Sunday, February 25, that investigations continue into the shipwreck recorded in Carreto, Guna Yala region , on February 14, where at least four migrants lost their lives, including a minor.

The Minister of Security, Juan Manuel Pino, reported that according to the investigations being carried out by the Public Ministry, many of the boat’s crew were not wearing life jackets.

“The 27 migrants who were on board the boat from Colombia were transported by criminals who recklessly insist on risking the lives of these migrants in a dangerous area of ​​the sea,” the minister reiterated.

Pino stated that so far this year, more than 68 thousand migrants have passed through the Darién jungle.

Recently, the Public Force of Panama has increased blockades in these maritime areas to combat migrant trafficking.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) expressed that “we find ourselves in a transcendental moment in our history, in which the institutions of different instances of the State are being tested.”

As the date of the general elections in the country approaches, the organization pointed out that “it is the responsibility of its officials to demonstrate their verticality and strict adherence to the Constitution of the Republic and its laws.”

Likewise, in La Cámara Opina – the union’s Sunday column – it was recalled that citizens must contribute to promoting a culture of transparency and improving the institutional integrity of the country. “We are all obliged to respect the law, and those who violate it must face the corresponding consequences,” he emphasized.

In its writing, the organization reiterated that Panama lives in a democratic system that “is not limited only” to exercising the right to vote every five years. For a true democracy to work, he added, there must be a real rule of law that provides security to its citizens, as well as a committed citizenry that in all their roles (whether businessmen, workers, public servants, among others) respects the laws and commit to values ​​such as honesty and resilience.

To move towards full development, each of us must contribute to strengthening our democratic model, one of whose basic components, as we have already highlighted, is an accurate, transparent and impartial justice administration system, the Cciap emphasized.

The president of the Panamanian Hotel Association (Apatel), Fernando Machado, described it as extremely serious that the National Immigration Service (SNM) does not realize the damage it causes to tourism by publishing on its social networks that in Panama they are requisitioning tourists visiting the beaches.

He said that the measure itself of requiring papers from visitors who enjoy the beaches in summer is as worrying as the fact that the authorities are not aware of the damage they cause with these actions.

His reaction comes after the SNM, headed by Samira Gozaine, published on its social networks a photograph of agents asking tourists for documentation on the beaches of Los Santos.

He recalled that just a month ago the Tourism Cabinet announced actions to improve the experience of tourists and now they are coming out with this measure, which reveals a lack of coordination. “Actions like these highlight the lack of awareness of some government entities about the importance of tourism for Panama,” she noted.

Independent hotelier Annette Cárdenas told La Prensa that at a time when the tourism industry needs support, the authorities take actions that do not help in this direction.

“What is the need to do this? “Isn’t it enough that they cut the funds for the sector to $10 million when by law they should be $20 million?” he questioned.

Also on social networks there were hundreds of comments to the Migration post published on the X network. “There is no way to promote tourism with geniuses like these. I know more than 50 countries and nothing like this has ever happened to me. We have to end the bureaucracy that kills the economy,” commented lawyer Carlos Ernesto González Ramírez.

Immigration, for its part, issued a statement in which it highlights the importance of immigration controls to “guarantee the life, honor and property of nationals and foreigners in the country.”

According to the entity, these verifications contribute to security and promote “the safe stay in Panama of our visitors.”

It details that the sum of people deported and expelled so far in 2024 already reaches 119 people, most of them detected through these verifications. It does not specify, however, if they had any type of communication with the ATP or the Tourist Office.

The project for the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal will begin permanent work on March 7, when the piling machine comes into operation, which will begin to make the gravel columns for soil improvement, according to the Minister of Public Works. , Rafael Sabonge.

The piling machine will begin working on the west side of the Panama Canal. Currently, soil improvement work is being carried out at this point and in the adjacent area where the attack pit is located, from where the tunnel boring machine that will build line 3 of the metro will begin its journey. Later, in less than a month, they will begin piling the east side of the Panama Canal, Sabonge said.

“This will be a historic date, after all the upheavals that this project has had, because we managed to resolve the financing problem, which was the most important thing,” said the head of Public Works.

The banks Mizuho of Japan and Banistmo of Panama will participate in the financing of the work for 1,227 million dollars, with a financial structure , who will provide the funds that the contractor needs to begin the construction of the project.

Originally, Banco Santander of Spain was included in this financial structure , but in November 2023 it withdrew from the project alleging an internal restructuring, leaving the Japanese entity in charge of the negotiation.

According to Sabonge, “there is already machinery on site that is creating the platform for the permanent works on the bridge, they are no longer temporary works.”

The MOP head added that between 4 to 5 slabs are replaced per week. At this rate, the work will be completed in approximately 15 weeks. The project, in addition to the replacement of the concrete slabs, will include aesthetic improvements that will include the application of paint to ensure a long useful life of this important structure.

These works are part of the comprehensive renovation of the San Miguelito Bridge , Line No. 1 of the project of study, design, construction, rehabilitation and financing of streets in the district of Panama, whose overall cost is $86.8 million.

The interconnection bridge between the coastal strip 3 and the Amador road will be available to the public starting this Monday, February 26, with all access to this sector enabled, as reported by the Minister of Public Works, Rafael Sabonge.

The work, inaugurated this Saturday, February 24, consists of a 1.5 kilometer long viaduct, with two kilometers of cycle paths and sidewalks that connect the coastal strip with the Amador road. In addition, this new structure allows access to the Amador Convention Center.

The head of Public Works indicated that minor works are still pending, such as ornamentation, landscaping and the construction of uneven pedestrian crossings. However, the interconnection will be available to the entire population.

The project, costing $47 million, was one of the first turnkey projects completed. The contractor provided financing and the State will pay in two stages; The last disbursement will be made this year and is within the 2024 budget, Sabonge explained.

The Torrijos Carter marine viaduct, as it was named, was inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, who was accompanied by the Minister of Labor, Doris Zapata; the head of Housing, Rogelio Paredes; and the governor of Panama, Karla Gracia.

During the event, the president announced that a monument will be built in honor of Omar Torrijos Herrera and Jimmy Carter in the center of the interconnection roundabout.


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