Thursday 16th December 2021.

December 16, 2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reports this Wednesday, December 15, 386 new cases of Covid-19 , which brings the accumulated total to 481,824. The epidemiological report of the Minsa indicates that to find the new infections 9,014 tests were applied for a positivity of 4.2%. Regarding deaths from this disease, it was reported that in the last 24 hours a death was reported and two deaths from previous dates are updated for a cumulative 7,394 deaths, since March 2020 when the pandemic arrived in Panama. There are a total of 3,610 active cases in the country, of which 3,501 are in home isolation and 109 hospitalized. The cases that are in isolation are divided into 3,389 at home and 112 in hospital hotels. There are 93 inpatients in the ward and 16 in the intensive care unit, the report adds.

On December 10, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation communicated to the United States Department of Justice the interest of the Republic of Panama, “as a victim of crime,” in the restitution of the money that Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares laundered, using the US financial system. The two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal confessed to having participated in a scheme to launder $ 28 million in bribes that the construction company Odebrecht paid for the benefit of a former “senior official of the Panamanian government.” According to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office, this request is made in its capacity as the central authority of the Republic of Panama for the United Nations Convention against Corruption ”and in compliance with its constitutional obligation to defend the interests of the Panamanian State.

Former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal coincided with the husband of one of the three judges who acquitted him of the charges for political espionage last month. For this reason, the Public Ministry will investigate what the ex-president was doing with that person. According to the digital site Foco Panamá , it is Ricardo Ramírez Bustos, husband of Judge Marysol Osorio Leyton. The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office began the ex officio investigation this Wednesday, after the digital site released a video as to what happened.

An Oral Trial Court declared the two defendants guilty on Wednesday, for the crimes of homicide, femicide, robbery and deprivation of liberty to the detriment of seven young people from the province of Colón. This oral trial, which began on November 25, was for the massacre of the seven young people in a bunker in Espinar (Colón), which occurred on July 17, 2020. According to the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, the reading of the sentence for this case will take place on December 29, 2021, at 2:00 pm at the facilities of the accusatory criminal system of the province of Colón.

The national unemployment rate stood at 11.3% and informality at 47.6%, according to the Labor Market Survey (EML) carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), between October 3 and 30. This corresponds to a 3.2% decrease in relation to the 14.5% in the unemployment rate reported until last June. Regarding the informality rate, there was a growth of 2.7% if it is related to the 44.9% of 2019, before the pandemic. This is due to the fact that many of the unemployed have migrated to carry out some informal activity.

A total of 10 people were apprehended in the province of Chiriquí , for their alleged involvement in the commission of the crime of extortion in the form of virtual kidnapping. They are 5 women and 5 men, detained in the so-called Operation Amanecer, developed by the First Prosecutor Against Organized Crime in conjunction with the National Police. The first superior prosecutor against Organized Crime, Emeldo Márquez, said that these people are supposedly part of a network dedicated to making phone calls to indicate to the victims that they have a relative deprived of their liberty. They then demanded large sums of money for the release, when the kidnappings had not in fact occurred. Through intimidation, the victims are asked not to close the phone call and to go to the banks to withdraw the requested money, the amounts ranged from $ 100 to $ 2,500, the official explained.

The list of properties owned by the network dedicated to drug trafficking, a group that was dismantled by Operation Fisher, is extensive. A mansion with an ocean view, valued at $ 1 million; an apartment of almost half a million dollars, in the heart of the capital. Three residences in La Chorrera, located in the Summer Hill urbanization. In that same district, a house was also detected in Montelimar, and a barber shop. There are also farms in Cristóbal, province of Colón; as in La Pintada, Coclé; and another in Barrio Colón, La Chorrera. This last property is valued at $ 335 thousand. There is more. Three residences in the community of Nueva Providencia, in Colón. It was in one of them that the $ 10 million cache was found. A company called Magna Pesca, which according to the investigations of the Public Ministry, was used as a screen to simulate activities related to fishing. The fortune of this criminal structure was also made up of five maritime vessels valued at $ 400 thousand; means of transport with which fishing operations were simulated and which at the same time were used to transport drugs. Among the assets owned by this group that collaborates with the Clan del Golfo, of Colombia, there are 38 cars, which were in the name of front men. Standing out an Audi, a Toyota pick-up, and a truck, valued at $ 132 thousand. A real estate agency managed by a lawyer, who was in charge of creating joint-stock companies, was also intervened. Sources linked to the investigation revealed that this week the prosecution carried out ocular inspections in some notaries, in search of information on this case.

Fuel prices register a decrease from this Friday, December 7, 2021 until December 31, 2021, reported the National Energy Secretariat. 95 octane gasoline will drop 14 hundredths per gallon; the 91 octane 13 cents and the low sulfur diesel 9 cents. In liters the decrease will be 4 hundredths for the 95 octane, 3 hundredths for the 91 octane and 2 hundredths for the diesel.

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