Thursday 29th June 2023.

June 28, 2023


On the third day of the trial of the 32 defendants in the Lava Jato case, the witness Omar Vergara appeared, who as an analyst of the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) of the National Police, participated in the preparation of a report on the traceability of money allegedly laundered using companies and other services provided by the defunct law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Vergara, who sat on the stand as a witness for the Public Ministry, said that he worked in the Money Laundering Division of the DIJ, where he was commissioned to prepare two reports related to the Lava Jato case. The witness noted that he did not remember many details of that report, given that little more than five years have passed since it was prepared.

He said that to prepare the report, he worked with the first 135 volumes of the investigation, which were sent to him by the prosecutor’s office. At that initial stage, the investigation focused on 13 legal entities and four natural persons.

Vergara recalled that the documents analyzed already included the link of the Brazilian Roberto Trombeta (a client of Mossack Fonseca do Brasil) with several offshore companies facilitated to allegedly cover up the money from the payment of alleged bribes. According to the investigation, Trombeta controlled the company Kingsfield Consulting Corp., which allegedly accepted resources “of spurious origin” from the Brazilian construction company OAS and maintains a direct relationship with Mossack Fonseca, which served as its resident agent. Trombeta has been sanctioned in Brazil for corruption and money laundering.

The next witness to appear, also on behalf of the prosecution, was Gerardo Córdoba Rosales, an analyst of computer systems and methods for the Public Ministry. Córdoba participated in the preparation of the report of the DIJ, in what refers to the custody and installation of some devices.

Next, Captain and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Antonio Lin, a witness requested by lawyer Daika Levy, defender of Marisabel Robles, Reina Chong and Josette Roquebert, appeared on the stand. Lin, who is assigned to DIJ’s money laundering division, was part of the team that prepared the preliminary action report on the traceability of the monies moved and received by Mossack Fonseca.

The other authors of this report have already testified in this process, at the request of the Second Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime.

A high-level government team travelled on the morning of Wednesday, to Changuinola, province of Bocas de Toro, to talk with the demonstrators and local authorities. This, after a protest over the eviction of land from a private property left several injured and apprehended on Tuesday.

Some 19 people were apprehended, and nine others were injured as a result of the clashes in this sector of the province of Bocas del Toro.

The Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning, Rogelio Paredes, who heads the official team, said that the 16 men and 3 women who are detained remain in good health and added that their rights are being respected.

And it is that in the last hours about 150 people – who were evicted from private land – staged intermittent closures on the bridge of La Torre, in Changuinola. The eviction proceeding was executed on Tuesday morning, complying with an order issued by the peace court of the community of El Empalme.

Paredes went to the Raul Davila Mena hospital in Changuinola, where he said he verified that there are no wounded or dead in the morgue. The minister indicated that the commission was also able to verify that the information circulating on social networks in the sense that there are affected children and pregnant women allegedly hospitalized because of the demonstrations is not true.

The police and the Ombudsman’s Office had previously stated that there have been no deaths due to the protests or cases of deprivation of liberty.

Minister Paredes, accompanied by the governor of the province Eleazar Gómez and a team from the Ministry of Government, called on the population “to continue seeking spaces for dialogue within the basis of respect, citizen order and peaceful coexistence to maintain social peace.”

Two weeks and three days after the primary elections (June 11) of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the wounds do not heal and the struggles remain. “Unity,” that word that José Gabriel Gaby Carrizo, presidential candidate of that group, has uttered again and again, is far from materializing.

In the opinion of political analysts, so far there are no clear indications of what Carrizo’s route will be to capitalize on the support of the voters of Crispiano Adames, who took 28.9% of the votes (107,215) in the PRD primaries; nor that of the 10.8% who voted blank (47,860), nor that of the supporters of Pedro Miguel González, who obtained 9.2% of the vote (34,174).

Last week, Carrizo announced that he had begun to “build a bridge” toward unity. He met with lawyer Calixto Silgado, one of those who ran for the PRD presidential candidacy and came in fourth place in the primaries (9,713). He also did the same with five other of the seven pre-candidates with whom the PRD flag was disputed.

However, in his meeting with the members of the Youth Front, the main figure of this movement was not seen: its president Hussein Pitti, who backed the faction of deputy Crispiano Adames. He only spoke with the youth faction that supported him in the June 11 commissions. “I was not at that meeting,” he told this media, “when asked if he was invited, he answered “no.”

Adames, current president of the legislative branch, said last Monday in an interview on TVN that Carrizo sent him a message via chat and then called him by phone. The deputy said that they will have to talk, however, he added, that it will depend on that meeting whether or not he supports the presidential candidacy of the PRD candidate.

He made it clear that “the conversation is not a lunch, nor a hug, nor cheers, it is a deep analysis of situations that can violate the democracy of the parties and also of society.”

At least 20 companies participated in the approval meeting with a view to obtaining a license for the manufacture of medicinal cannabis derivatives.

Elvia Lau, national director of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), indicated that at the meeting the representatives of the companies reviewed the selection bases and made their disclaimers on the critical knots, which in their opinion are seen in the bases and that, as companies, they will not be able to comply in order to participate in the process.

The concerns presented by the entrepreneurs will be taken to the Technical Council of Cannabis, an entity that can make addenda to the bases. “This is the second part of the process and thus be able to grant licenses in the future,” Lau said.

Interested companies or individuals must access the Minsa website to know the 12 forms including the “Chek List” that must be submitted to obtain the license.

The healthy coexistence between bars-restaurants and residents in the Marbella sector has been broken. The commercial growth of the area, especially with businesses dedicated to the parranda has ended the tranquility of the residents of three buildings: PH Los Delfines, Grand Bay and Bay Front.

Yesterday, June 27, representatives of this community attended the Municipal Council to narrate the anguish that they have been living in their residences for a year, impacted by the loud music, karaoke and the vibrations of speakers that, it seems, are about to break.

Before, they denounced the anxiety through which they pass to the Municipality of Panama and the Ministry of Health, but there has been no response to what they consider “noise pollution” by the so-called Eolian RoofTop terraces, and more recently Hydra, both premises located in the Balboa Boutique.

Ronen Ceasar, from the board of directors of PH Los Delfines, told La Prensa how their lives have changed as a result of the exaggerated noise until the wee hours of the morning. The noise begins, relentlessly, from Wednesday to Sunday, week after week.

He, like other residents, have had to buy and install thermo-acoustic windows that mitigate noise by 95% in the rooms, but when “the boom, boom, bass boom sounds, nothing works”.

Not to mention the rest of the house, “which has become uninhabitable every night. Our building is 30 years old and these people have been operating for 2 years. No one deserves to come home and not have peace of mind,” he said.

Ceasar said he recently used the sound level meter of a mobile application and it marked 65 decibels from 10:00 p.m., when the norm allows 50.

The story he tells has the same ingredients that have been narrated before by residents of San Francisco, some streets of Coco del Mar and also in Obarrio, who have also complained about the ineffectiveness of municipal agreement 141 of September 23, 2014, which establishes regulations to prevent and apply control measures on noise whose emission affects and disturbs health and prevents rest of the residents of the Capital District.

“Everything is regulated. The Mayor’s Office does absolutely nothing about it,” Ceasar said.



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