Monday 3rd October 2022.

October 3, 2022

In Panama there is a deficit of judges, when compared to international standards in the administration of justice. Reports from the Judicial Branch detail that the country has 11.6 judges for every 100,000 inhabitants. The international standard, determined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is 65 judges for every 100,000 inhabitants, which puts the country well below that average. Panama, in 2016, was better in this assessment. That year there were 12.5 judges for every 100,000 inhabitants and little by little it has been falling, precisely at the time when the new accusatory penal system came into force, belatedly, to replace the mixed inquisitorial system. To compensate for this deficit and the processes that are being delayed, the Judiciary carried out a series of hearing marathons this year in the different judicial districts of the country.The presiding magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) , María Eugenia López Arias, in the management report for the first half of 2022, highlighted that judges face a large workload, not only because of their low  number in relation to the population , but because of the lack of availability of offices and the complexity of the cases. According to the report, the Judicial Branch had a total of 151 thousand 519 processes on going, of which it managed to finalize 76 thousand 912. The report details that 30% of the processes that are on going correspond to the family jurisdiction; 28% are civil cases; 13% corresponds to the sphere of childhood and adolescence, and 21% to the penal sphere. In the criminal field, 81 thousand 767 hearings were held in the accusatory criminal system and 78 thousand 717 in the old inquisitorial system, which is in the process of closing. In addition, according to the report, there is a low number of judges in the system. An average of 11.6 judges per 100,000 inhabitants, far from the 65 judges per 100,000 inhabitants recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The European average, in contrast, is 17.7 judges per 100,000 people. The statistics in Panama reflect a slight but sustained decrease in the number of judges per 100,000 inhabitants since 2012. (See table). In this regard, López Arias highlights the application of a contingency plan in the accusatory penal system for three consecutive months, in which a large number of pending hearings were held in all its phases.

The Vamos coalition has reached the minimum number of support signatures required for free candidacies in 55 of the 80 constituencies where they have been activated. This, as of October 1 of this year and 45 days after the collection process was opened. In addition, in various parts of the country, pre-candidates for deputies and local governments that are part of the coalition lead the collection of signatures in their constituencies. This week, for example, the pre-candidate for mayor of the district of San Miguelito, Irma Hernández, reached the minimum number of signatures required to qualify for a place on the ballot. Hernández, who was a close collaborator of the independent deputy Juan Diego Vásquez during his first years in the Assembly, has collected some 3,192 signatures. She has managed to register 1,500 support signatures more than the person who follows her on the list of applicants. San Miguelito is a key point for Vamos, since it is led by Vásquez, who in the 2019 general election came to the National Assembly as the most voted deputy in the entire country and won one of the 6 seats in that circuit. . Vásquez, who along with his colleague Gabriel Silva, also an independent, announced that he will not aspire to a popularly elected position in 2024 due to free candidacy, is promoting Hernández, a list of pre-candidates for deputy and six pre-candidates for representative in districts of San Miguelito.At the national level, the coalition supports 105 pre-candidates in the process of collecting signatures. This is an important measurement of the political strength of the figure of Vásquez and the ability of the organizing group to tour  the country and capture the necessary signatures. In Colón, the coalition, less than two months into the process of collecting support signatures, is leading in all the constituencies where it is supporting a pre-candidate. This, both at the level of the Assembly and in the local governments to which they aspire. In the mayor’s office, they support Diógenes Galván, who is also organized under his own movement, Colón para Todos. Galván has already reached the minimum number of signatures required and leads the collection with 4,888 registered support signatures. From the coalition, they assure that the alliance with Galván is the first of several that they hope to manage between now and the end of the harvesting stage.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on countries to intensify response actions against the monkeypox virus, prioritizing detection, surveillance, and community engagement to reduce new cases and end the outbreak in the Americas region. The request arises because most of the reported cases are in the Americas region: as of September 28, 41,966 cases of monkeypox were recorded. Data from the World Health Organization website shows that, as of September 28, a total of 67,556 cases and 7 deaths from monkeypox were reported worldwide.The Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) has confirmed 16 cases of monkeypox in the country. The director of the Gorgas Commemorative Institute for Health Studies (Icges), Juan Miguel Pascale, indicated that people vaccinated against smallpox have 85% protection if they are exposed to monkeypox, as long as they do not have health conditions. that weaken your immune system, such as cancer or HIV.Pascale argued that it is children, pregnant women and immunosuppressed people who are most at risk of a severe disease if infected with monkeypox.

Two operations carried out by the state security forces resulted in the seizure of three tons of cocaine. According to reports, the first seizure was made near the mouth of the Sidra River in the Guna Yala region, where a boat carrying 2,006 kilos of cocaine was located.The drug was found in 80 sacks in a boat that was run aground and abandoned on the coast by its crew, after a chase led by members of the National  Aeronaval Service (Senan). This entity received the support of the Colombian Navy and an aircraft from the United States.The second seizure occurred in a port in the province of Colón, where 990 kilos of cocaine were found. The drug was inside a container that had arrived from Long Beach, United States, bound for Antwerp, Belgium. The Drug Prosecutor’s Office of the province of Colón is carrying out investigations to determine if the container was “contaminated” with the drug upon arrival in Colón or if it already came with the illegal merchandise. Last August, the Drug Prosecutor’s Office, through operation “Fire”, dismantled a network dedicated to introducing narcotics in containers in Colón.Some 96 tons of drugs have been seized so far in 2022. In 2021, a record for narcotics seizures was broken: 128.7 tons.

The Association of Property Owners of Panama (API), chaired by José Antonio Díaz, said that as a union they will respect the agreements made with delinquent tenants, but warned that tenants must assume responsibilities because the rents “were not forgiven.” The Executive promulgated, last Friday in the Official Gazette , Decree 30 of September 27, 2022, which repeals Decree 145, of May 1, 2020; executive decree 314, of August 7, 2020; and executive decree 411, of December 31, 2020, related to measures adopted by the pandemic on leases, release processes, and evictions. These provisions were adopted by the Government after the declaration of the covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, when there was an obvious impact on the leasing activity of private real estate intended for habitation, commercial establishments, professional use, commercial activities. and teachers.As a result of the paralysis of the economy and the closure of dozens of companies, delinquencies in rentals reached up to 45%, but later with the reactivation it normalized. Díaz said that based on the survey carried out a few  months ago among API affiliates, there was a delinquency rate of approximately 30%. The decree that bears the signature of President Laurentino Cortizo and the Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning (Miviot), Rogelio Paredes, justifies the repeal of the measures on leases, releases and evictions, after the economic and health improvement that the country registers, for the phased reopening of the economy and the reactivation of employment contracts. The Executive decided to maintain in force “the agreements signed between the lessor and the lessee, due to conflicts originating from the lease fees not paid as a result of the application of the established measures and provisions”, and which were registered in the General Directorate of Leasing of the Miviot, “until the end of the period agreed between the parties”. In the Miviot there are registered more than 4 thousand agreements signed between tenants and landlords.Díaz said that they will not only respect the agreements registered in the Miviot, but also those that were made between the parties and that were not reported to the  institution.

Singing, playing, dancing and the flamenco lifestyle will be present more than ever during this week in which the Flamenco Festival will be held, which will take place from Monday the 3rd to Saturday the 8th of October.The agenda will begin with flamenco master classes for musicians, singers and dancers, which will be offered by the Anita Loynaz Academy, and will take place from October 3 to 5. Followed by the Auno Flamenco Fashion Night in which there will be a flamenco catwalk with creations by designer Guillermo Ramírez followed by a pairing  dinner that will take place on October 6 at the Hotel Bristol. On October 7, the stage of the Anayansi Theater of the Atlapa Convention Center will host the show Las Voces de Una Mujer at 8:00 pm, which will focus on the various voices that lead the lives of women that correspond to the narrative internal that is determined by true love as a common thread that ultimately leads to healing, expansion and evolution.

More articles