Thursday 16th November 2023.
November 15, 2023
The employers called on the business community and workers to go to their workplaces today and not comply with the call to close the roads for 24 hours, which some union organizations and the teachers’ association have made, grouped in Alianza Pueblo Unidos por la Vida, against the mining contract.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), Adolfo Fábrega, pointed out that they are asking citizens to go to work this Thursday and the Government to guarantee free transit and enforce the Constitution.
“We Panamanians have shown that we know how to demonstrate peacefully and achieve what we demand. There is the mining moratorium; “There are those who are vigilant in the Supreme Court of Justice for the ruling on Law 406,” said Fábrega.
He said that the population has the right to complain and demonstrate against mining, against corruption and the lack of responses from the National Government, but at the same time the right to work, to eat, to have access to health and The education.
“If, as a Panamanian, you are upset and dissatisfied with mining, with corruption, with the lack of responses from the National Government, you have every right to express your opinion and complain. But you also have the right to work, to feed yourself, to have health and education and for this we need to move freely. Tomorrow demands that, tomorrow and always the Government has to guarantee free transit and must enforce the Constitution”, He stressed.
Today Thursday, the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) will hold the trial of the substitute representative of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) , Kristelle Getzler , for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering through the Blue Apple company. Services .
Sources from the Judicial Branch confirmed that Getzler’s trial will be held at 9:00 am, at the Gil Ponce Palace of Justice headquarters, in Ancón.
Judge María Eugenia López Arias acts as prosecutor of the case, while her counterpart María Cristina Chen Stanziola serves as substantiator.
The Parlacen substitute deputy is linked to the Blue Apple case through the alleged acquisition of a car with funds from the payment of bribes from State contractors, in the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).
In that administration, Getzler was an official in the Ministry of the Presidency and her husband, Frank De Lima , served as Minister of Economy and Finance.
It was reported that a total of five witnesses were adduced by the parties, to be presented during the trial.
On November 30, 2022, during the preliminary hearing, Judge López requested that Getzler be brought to trial for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering; Her lawyers requested an acquittal verdict.
In the Blue Apple case, the Court still maintains in process the procedural break ordered by the second liquidating judge of criminal cases, Baloisa Marquinez, regarding the brothers Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, who were also charged with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering.
If the Court admits the procedural break of Marquínez in the case of the Martinelli Linares brothers, which would also be processed in the inquisitorial system, a prosecutor and a magistrate judge of guarantees must be appointed.
The children of former President Martinelli must be prosecuted given that last August they were sworn in as substitute deputies of Parlacen, a position in which they aspire to be re-elected in May 2024.
Last Monday, Judge Marquinez handed down a damning verdict in this case against eight people, including the former Ministers of Public Works, Federico Suárez and Jaime Ford , and the businessman Riccardo Francolini.
The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) issued two surveillance notices this Wednesday, November 15, due to bad weather forecasts in the coming hours, a situation that is already reflected in several streets of the capital city.
One of the Imhpa warnings indicates that intermittent to constant rains are expected in much of the country in the following hours, which increases the possibilities of sudden river flooding, flooding and landslides.
The second warning is related to the formation of a tropical depression in the Caribbean, north of Panama, which could increase rainfall and generate strong winds.
Both Ihmpa notices are valid until Friday, November 17.
In the capital city, flooded streets are reported in different sectors, which is why drivers are asked to exercise caution.
On Calle 44 Bella Vista and Vía Argentina, several vehicles were trapped under currents of water. On Calle 50 traffic was slow due to the heavy rain. There are also reports of flooded streets in Montelimar, La Chorrera.
The National Police reported this Wednesday that they arrested a person who is apparently linked to the murder of an official of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc).
The incident occurred this Tuesday in Arraiján, province of Panama Oeste, where a co-worker of the victim was also injured. After the event, the Police reported that they deployed an operation in this sector, in coordination with the Public Ministry, and arrested one person.
According to data from the National Police, the incident occurred on El Rosario Street, in Arraiján. The preliminary report reflects that Sinaproc officials went to an appointment to purchase a car, but apparently it was a false sale and the purpose was theft.
It was reported that the person who is supposedly linked to the incident was detained in the Salamanca sector and later placed under the orders of the Homicide and Femicide Prosecutor’s Office of the province of Panama Oeste. Apparently there are other people linked to the criminal act.
The first proceedings of the Public Ministry highlight that the officials were still purchasing a vehicle, which was offered to them through a digital platform. Already at the place to carry out the transaction, they were surprised by an unknown general, who fired five shots at the vehicle where the officials were. It is presumed that he did this to steal the money from the purchase of the car.
The blockade of roads and the instability that has been experienced in Panama for several weeks is leaving consequences in the tourism sector and one of those affected is the high cruise season that began just at the end of October.
Ernesto Orillac, tour operator and former president of the Panamanian Chamber of Tourism (Camtur), confirmed that the cruise line Carnival Cruise Line canceled the docking scheduled for today, Wednesday, November 15, at the port Home Port Colon 2000 in the Province of Colón. .
This is the Carnival Conquest cruise ship, with capacity for 2,980 guests and 1,150 crew members, which is already in Panamanian waters, according to tracking by marinetraffic.com , but will not dock in Colón as planned.
This cruise itinerary included stops in George Town, Grand Cayman; Puerto Limón, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; and Cartagena, Colombia. But given the protests and the road blockade in Panama, he gave up the stopover in Colón and continued his route to Cartagena, Colombia.
Orillac indicated that as a result of the road blockades in Colón, there are already three cruise lines that have reported that they will not dock or arrive at any of their cruise ships to stay between one and two days as Home Port in Panama, until Access to free transit and safety is guaranteed to tourists and cruise passengers.
He argued that this situation generates a loss in an entire chain of tourist services, since for each cruise tourist who decides to get off and stay two or three days in Panama, income is generated for land transportation companies, local operators, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers among others. It is estimated that per stay for cruise tourists the expense is about 300 to 500 dollars for two or three days.
The average length of stay of a visitor in Panama, according to the Panama Tourism Authority, was approximately 8 days in the first half of 2022, which totals $1,957 per tourist, that is, an average of $245 per day spent in Panama. the country, and the vast majority of those visitors are generated through cruise tourists.
When consulted by La Prensa Carnival Corporation & plc responded that they monitor the situation that exists in Panama to take measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of guests and crew.
“We continue to visit Panama and the Panama Canal, which are extremely popular destinations loved by our guests. We are taking every precaution to protect the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew and are closely monitoring the situation to determine what it means for our future voyages. “We are communicating directly with our guests and crew about the situation and any possible adjustments to the itinerary,” said Carnival Corporation & plc .
The state Savings Bank (CA) “closed” the accounts of the Single Union of Construction Workers (Suntracs) , according to the Broad Front for Democracy (FAD) , the political arm of Suntracs.
“A serious attack is committed against union and citizen freedom. The Savings Bank closes accounts of Suntracs and the Suntracs RL Cooperative. We repudiate this vile attack by economic power,” the FAD wrote on his account on the social network X (former Twitter).
The CA did not want to confirm this information or comment on it, citing the confidentiality of its clients.
However, what happened would have been a decision adopted by the CA and did not respond to any instructions from the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP).
“It was the bank’s decision. Each bank must analyze the risk level of its clients to update its risk classification. I understand that there may have been unusual behavior, but these are issues that must be handled with the confidentiality of the case. But it was not an instruction from the SBP,” said Superintendent Amauri Castillo .
La Prensa was able to observe a circular from Saúl Méndez , general secretary of Suntracs and former candidate for the Presidency of the Republic for the FAD, in which he communicates to the union membership that payments cannot be received through bank transfers (ACH). The union will only receive checks, cashier’s checks payable to Suntracs and certified checks.
Suntracs has carried out several demonstrations and road closures, in rejection of Law 406 of 2023, which adopts the contract for the exploitation of minerals in Donoso between the Panamanian State and Minera Panamá.
The National Secretariat of Energy announced the new regular fuel prices , which reflect a decrease and will come into force as of this Friday, November 17.
According to the price table, 95 octane gasoline will sell for $0.935 per liter ($3.54 per gallon), 91 octane at $0.890 per liter ($3.36 per gallon) and low sulfur diesel at $0.959 ($3.63 per gallon). ).
It was reported that the price of 95 gasoline will register a decrease of 4 cents per liter, 91 gasoline will drop 3 cents and diesel 5 cents per liter.
It is important to note that these prices will be valid from 6:00 am on Friday, November 17 until 5:59 on Friday, December 1.
Currently, 91 octane gasoline and diesel maintain a fixed subsidized price of $3.25 per gallon. The difference is assumed by the State before the shipping companies.
95 gasoline was excluded from the subsidy plan in April of this year.
It should be remembered that the Cabinet Council approved this Tuesday to extend for one more month, until December 14, the subsidy for 91 octane gasoline and diesel, so that they maintain the price of $3.25 per gallon.