Thursday 17th November 2022.

November 17, 2022


The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, confirmed this Wednesday, November 16, that Panama is facing a sixth wave of covid-19, as an increase in the positivity of cases has been registered in recent weeks. Since the country reported the first contagion of the virus, in March 2020, there have been six waves of the pandemic, which is why the authorities reiterate the call to the population to reinforce biosecurity measures. Three of the key indicators of the covid-19 disease pandemic : hospitalizations, deaths and positivity increased in this last epidemiological week that runs from November 6 to 12. This is evidenced by the Epidemiology report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) which details that in the last week it closed with 92 patients hospitalized in the ward and 7 in intensive care units. The figure is higher than the previous week from October 30 to November 5, when the number of patients in the ward was 70 and one patient in the intensive care unit.

More people announced this November 16 that they were victims of alleged abuses, when they were part of the SOS Children’s Villages programs, between 1982 and 1992. On August 3, 35 former participants of these programs filed a civil lawsuit against the organization SOS Children Villages International company based in Austria and whose legal representative is Ingirid María Johansen, residing in Austria. However, Rogelio Samudio, lawyer for the victims, stressed that there are another 27 people who allegedly suffered sexual assault and mistreatment, both physical and psychological, for which reason new complaints will be filed in the coming days. At a press conference, Samudio pointed out that the first 35 complaints were distributed in the 18 civil circuit courts. “It is important to point out that some have already been admitted, others have been ordered corrected, but there are several for which the courts have not ruled,” he clarified. In fact, the lawyer asked the courts to rule so that the people affected can see that their cases are advancing, complying with the procedural times. “There are 27 recent alleged victims and new complaints will be filed in the coming days, he said.

Magistrate Alfredo Juncá is the new president of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) .The decision was adopted at noon on this Wednesday, after a plenary meeting of the institution, an instance made up of judges Juncá, Eduardo Valdés Escoffery and Luis Guerra , the new tenant of the  TE, who this week replaced Heriberto Araúz .In the meeting held in the events room, it was decided by majority that Juncá will lead the TE, while Valdés Escoffery will remain as first vice president and Guerra will be second vice president of that corporation, in charge, among other  things, of organizing the general elections. on May 5, 2024.

The US ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte arrived in Panama on the morning of this Wednesday, to begin her diplomatic mission in the country. It must be remembered that on September 29, the United States Senate confirmed Aponte as ambassador in Panama. Aponte has served as US ambassador to El Salvador and was also the Acting Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Western Hemisphere Office. The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, has said that he is confident that Aponte’s management “will contribute to strengthening the constructive and respectful relations that our countries maintain.”

The judge Third Liquidator of Criminal Cases (attached), Clelia De La Rosa , considered that the evidence contained in Audit No. 04-2016 of the Comptroller General of the Republic, proves the existence of an alleged unjustified enrichment and from there were derived money laundering activities by Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio , who served as private secretary of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014). De Obarrio left Panama at the end of 2014, after Martinelli’s term ended. His whereabouts were unknown for several years and, in April 2021, he was arrested in Italy by the police, who fulfilled an Interpol request issued in 2019, since he was then required by the Panamanian justice system. However, he could not be returned to the country because there is no extradition agreement between the two countries. The former presidential secretary is mentioned in several processes that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor investigated related to the irregular management of funds assigned to the extinct National Aid Program (PAN). Rafael Guardia Jaén, former director of the PAN, who reached a collaboration agreement with the prosecution in several of the cases, assured that De Obarrio was the person who transmitted the instructions to assign the PAN contracts.

The Homicide and Femicide Section of the Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into a double homicide that occurred on the night of Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in Tocumen.In this event, a 26-year-old man and his five-year-old daughter were killed in the sector known as La Palmita, it was reported. According to the first field investigations, the criminals entered the residence where they were both and impacted the man and the minor, who were in one of the rooms of the house. The Public Ministry reported that the prosecutor’s office is collecting various indications at the residence, while the National Police maintains strong operations in the town of Tocumen, district of Panama.

1,200 agents, including national and private security, will be assigned to two of the mega concerts that will take place in Panama in the coming days. These are the artistic presentations of Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny , which will take place on November 19 and 22, respectively, at the Rommel Fernández stadium. In a press conference held at the National Police, the implementation of three security rings was announced. These will take place in the approach avenues to the Irving Saladino sports complex, on the premises of these facilities and as part of the review filters within the Rommel Fernández (Juan Díaz) stadium. At the conference, a call was made to people to avoid buying tickets from scalpers as they may be scams. “The system [for entering the shows] is not wrong, it is proven worldwide,” said David Candanedo, manager of the production company Magic Dreams. As has happened in other countries, “resales are taking place at very high prices and there are people willing to buy them, which is why the authorities have been warned,” said Candanedo.

Since November 29, 2011, when mobile and fixed number portability began in Panama, until last September, a record number of 3 million telephone numbers have been registered that have changed operators in 11 years, according to the National Authority of Public Services (Asep) . Number portability allows any postpaid or prepaid customer of Cable & Wireless, Tigo, Claro or Digicel telephone companies to change to another operator without losing their telephone number. Of this total number of numbers in number portability, 2 million 920 thousand correspond to cell phones and another 114 thousand 321 to landlines.



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