Thursday 12th October 2023.

October 11, 2023


The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo , came out in defense this Wednesday, October 11, of the modifications required regarding the contract between the Minera Panamá company and the Government.

“It is good for the country,” said the president on a tour of Veraguas. According to Cortizo, it is good for the 114 thousand retirees and pensioners and for the Disability, Old Age and Death (IVM) program of the Social Security Fund (CSS) .

It is also “good” for the three districts adjacent to the mine and for education, he added.

Cortizo explained that once this contract is approved and sanctioned, the Panamanian State “is assured of income from the company through two checks, one corresponding to the year 2022 for 395 million dollars and another for 375 million, that is, around 800 million.”

He reiterated that it is a contract that goes from $35 million that the mining company paid to $375 million now, which will be allocated for works in the districts adjacent to the mining company, for the IVM of the CSS, for the Institute for the Improvement and Welfare of Educators, as well as an increase for retirees and pensioners “so that no one receives a pension below $350 per month.”

On Tuesday, October 10, the Cabinet Council approved the modifications to the mining contract that were agreed upon with the company Minera Panamá , following suggestions made by the Commerce Commission of the National Assembly.

According to the Executive, clauses related to land expropriation were eliminated from the contract.

Furthermore, the Government assures that the company can only explore, extract, and exploit copper and its associated minerals in the concession area in the districts of Donoso and Omar Torrijos (Colón).

Likewise, the Government says that minerals cannot be extracted outside the concession area.

Recycling water between the tanks of the Panamax locks, that is, those of the original Canal, in addition to allowing two ships to transit at the same time, are some of the measures reinforced by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to save water resources.

The ACP reported in a statement that the historically high temperatures recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, added to the El Niño phenomenon that also warms the temperature of the Pacific Ocean and also delayed the arrival of the rainy season, is not an exclusive problem of the Canal, but a global issue that affects humanity.

It specifies that there has been a notable decrease in the levels of fresh water in the Canal reservoirs, which is why measures have been reinforced to save water in the operations of both the Panamax locks of the original Canal and the Neopanamax locks of the expansion.

Specifically, the ACP reports that it has taken water-saving measures to supply 55% of the population and provide a competitive and continuous service to global maritime trade.

One of these actions is cross-filling at the Panamax locks. This maneuver consists of reusing water from one way of the lock to be used in the other, saving the average consumption equivalent to five daily locks.

Another measure is the passage of two ships at the same time or simultaneously through the Panamax locks. This operation is subject to the size of the vessels. By occupying two ships in the same chamber, 100% of the lockage of a ship in this route would be saved.

They reiterate that they will maintain the transit restriction measures that will drop from 32 to 31 ships a day from next November 1, with which nine ships will pass through the Neopanamax lock per day and 22 through the Panamax lock. As of this Wednesday at 4:20 pm, the number of ships waiting to cross the Canal was 107 vessels, of which 43 were with reservations, and 64 without reservation.

Marta Linares de Martinelli has declined her candidacy as vice president on the payroll of the Realizing Goals (RM) and Alianza parties.

The resignation was communicated on Tuesday, October 10, in a notarized note sent to the Electoral Organization Directorate of the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

Linares de Martinelli alleges an alleged intention of the TE to hinder her application, making interpretations about the constitutionality or otherwise of her candidacy, which, according to her, is the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court of Justice, not of the TE magistrates.

“In no way will I lend myself to this ‘dirty game’, which is why I have decided to resign my candidacy as vice president of the Alliance to Save Panama payroll,” she wrote.

It is now unknown who will be the partner on the list headed by Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal , presidential candidate of RM and Alianza.

The last day to announce who will be your replacement, according to the electoral calendar, is October 31, 2023.

The journalist Álvaro Alvarado asked the Electoral Tribunal (TE) to revoke the resolution in which he is prohibited from making publications about former president Ricardo Martinelli , since he alleges that it violates the Constitution and the jurisprudence issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in similar cases in Latin America.

In an appeal for reconsideration presented this Tuesday, October 10, Alvarado, through his lawyer Miguel Antonio Bernal , maintains that the TE order, contained in Resolution 577 of September 19, 2023 , signed by the national director of Electoral Organization , Osman Valdés , violates article 37 of the Constitution that guarantees the fundamental right to freedom of expression, “ because it restricts a journalist from exercising his profession under the pretext of prohibiting him from analyzing and referring to facts of public knowledge and interest and, by doing so, the “Electoral Tribunal becomes complicit in the cover-up of acts of corruption .”

Bernal warns that the decision signed by Valdés not only violates the fundamental rights of Álvaro Alvarado, “but also opens the doors by threatening other journalists, which is inappropriate for a resolution.”

In fact, Valdés also prohibited the information portals Clearly and Foco from using Martinelli’s image and name in their publications, for the same reason: because they have supposedly undertaken a dirty campaign to affect his presidential candidacy in voting intention surveys. .

In that sense, Bernal mentioned that the contested resolution “takes us back” to the time of the military dictatorship, when contempt laws or “gag laws” existed, repealed in 2004 by the president of that time Martín Torrijos .

“Resolution 577, which you sign as national director of Electoral Organization, takes us back to that dark time and social conflicts already overcome, so we ask you to revoke the decision and restore the restricted right to freedom of expression,” cried Bernal, who also warned that Valdés previously censured Alvarado, without even having heard his defenses and taking as true everything pointed out by Martinelli in his complaint.

Alvarado has strongly denied Martinelli’s accusations and maintains that he can support all of his publications.

“Journalist Alvarado has done nothing other than practice journalism framed in ethics and professionalism, editorializing real facts in relation to the judicial processes in which former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal has been investigated and prosecuted and even sentenced and that, In short, they are true facts and not false.”

He also denies that his client has paid political advertisements or that he is “directly or indirectly sponsored by political adversaries of Ricardo Martinelli,” as he is accused. His work focuses on doing interviews, editorializing news and analyzing certain facts of public domain and interest.

The Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against the Economic Order arrested 21 people in raids carried out this Wednesday in Panama and Panama Oeste, to dismantle a criminal group that, with the help of bank workers, requested credit cards and, after making charges for the limit amount, they asked for it to be cancelled, thus accumulating accounts payable.

Prosecutor Cheryl Álvarez explained that a single person in the network had 14 credit cards, which he obtained with the collaboration of bank employees.

In a raid carried out in a building in the town of San Francisco, in the capital, $60,000 in cash was found as a result of this illegal activity.

According to the prosecutor’s investigations, the group operated in Panama City and Panama Oeste and stole up to $600,000.

In the raids carried out with the help of the National Police, cash and firearms were recovered, and elements were located that allow proving the participation of those arrested in the criminal scheme. The actions of the Public Ministry and the Police were carried out through the so-called Stratagem operation, which began this Wednesday morning.

It was reported that those arrested will be taken in the next few hours before a judge of guarantees for the corresponding formulation of charges and application of precautionary measures. They are being investigated for the alleged commission of financial crimes and aggravated fraud.

This year’s prolonged dry season, which is evident in a reduction in rainfall, has not affected the generation or supply of electrical energy in Panama, although it has put pressure on the level of hydroelectric reservoirs, said the National Secretary of Energy, Jorge Rivera Staff.

“The lack of rainfall according to historical averages has an impact on the hydroelectric generation capacity, but unlike the Canal or agricultural activity, in the energy sector we have other alternatives to generate electricity. We have solar, wind, natural gas, bunker and diesel among others,” explained Rivera Staff.

He maintained that at this time there has been greater generation of energy from thermal plants to make efficient use of water, projecting demand for next year.

“In none of the scenarios we have analyzed so far is there any issue of generation or supply deficit. There is no possibility of reasoning either this year or in mid-2024, but yes, we are constantly monitoring,” reported the national secretary of energy.

According to data from the National Dispatch Center (CNP), in October it is expected that 51.98% of the generation will come from water sources, followed by thermal sources contributing 35.91%, then solar sources with 7.29%, and finally wind sources with 4.83%.


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