Thursday 23rd November 2023.
November 22, 2023
The Supreme Court of Justice made public that it did not admit a protection of constitutional guarantees presented by the defense of former president Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, for the New Business case .
In Edict 1403 issued last Tuesday, November 21 at the General Secretariat of the Court, the parties are informed of the decision made by the magistrates.
The ruling ratifies a decision adopted by criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez in the trial that took place on May 23 of this year, when she denied an incident presented by Alfredo Vallarino, from the former president’s team of lawyers.
On that occasion, Vallarino, as substitute lawyer, presented several medical certificates that described a series of physical ailments that Martinelli supposedly had, which prevented him from facing the process. That day, Marquinez dismissed Vallarino’s request, claiming that the time to present the certifications had already passed.
Julio Sandoval, head of intensive care at The Panama Clinic, warned in one of the documents that Vallarino presented that Ricardo Martinelli had to be incapacitated and in rehabilitation for two months, with the purpose of “guaranteeing the highest success rate” of the spine surgery to which he underwent to correct a herniated disc.
The ruling bears the signature of Judge Miguel A. Espino, substitute for Judge Olmedo Arrocha, and the concurring vote of Judge María Eugenia López.
On November 16, the Court made public a ruling in which it also rejected an amparo of constitutional guarantees presented by Vallarino on behalf of Martinelli against decisions made by Marquínez during the third day of trial in the New Business case.
For this case, Martinelli was sentenced to 128 months in prison and paid a fine of $192 million. His defense announced an appeal against that decision before the Criminal Chamber of the Court.
The Chirican economy is going through one of its worst moments, as a result of the blockade of roads that prevent the arrival of tourists. Since it was not possible to completely open the roads to allow free transit, the community and the producer and tourist unions have decided to file a criminal complaint against the 21 people who maintain the blockades and kidnappings in the district , said the president of the Chamber. of Tourism of Tierras Altas, Maru Gálvez.
David Cuevas, lawyer for Tierras Altas, indicated that after carrying out an analysis it was determined that the 21 people have besieged the highlands, denying the right to free movement and access to human rights such as food, health and education.
“This constitutes the crime of terrorism,” said Cuevas, relying on article 294 of the Penal Code on acts that disturb public peace and intimidation of the population. These acts that are not stopped by public officials are punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Cuevas called on the Attorney General of the Nation, Javier Caraballo, to expedite the processing of the complaint. In this environment, he maintained that there are members of the community who are receiving threats from groups that are illegally blocking the roads.
He indicated that usually between November and December 30% of the tourism sector’s income is generated and in the month of blockades they accumulate losses of 3 million dollars.
“This is anarchy. If this becomes normal we are going to lose democracy and the country,” Gálvez warned.
More than 23 thousand people who live in the community are being affected and the losses are estimated at 50 million dollars.
Lorenzo Jiménez, president of the Tierras Altas producers association, indicated that about a million dollars in production are lost daily, putting small and medium-sized farmers at risk of bankruptcy.
Fanny Romero, representative of the Tierras Altas merchants, indicated that they are against mining and in June 2023 they peacefully rose up against a quarry until the project was revoked.
But at the same time he criticized the current pressure mechanisms, since “since Monday, October 23, we have been deprived of our freedom. We have lost our freedom. “We recorded million-dollar losses and we have zero tourism.”
He said that 5 thousand direct jobs are paralyzed and at risk. “The alleged leaders of the blockades are not even residents of the area. “We live in total anarchy,” added Romero.
He also reported that they register 92% losses in businesses, they do not have supplies such as flour or gas.
It was not until November 13 that they managed to distribute a few gallons of gas.
“My restaurant has flour for a week and a half. It is a feeling of helplessness. “We have fought for many years to achieve an economy that is now at risk of being destroyed,” Romero said with a trembling voice.
He denounced that the National Police is practically nonexistent. He has disavowed the mayor.
“We are all going to go bankrupt,” he warned.
The Single Union of Construction and Similar Workers (Suntracs) carried out at least three more actions in rejection of the closure of its bank accounts by the Savings Bank (CA), on November 13.
The union reported the state bank to the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP) for violating banking secrecy, alleging that the bank leaked information to the newspaper La Estrella de Panamá , which was the one that two days later, on November 15, published the news citing an “official” source.
Specifically, Suntracs accuses the CA of negligence for “violating banking agreement 008-2005 of September 21, 2005, which requires banks to take measures to prevent private and confidential information of a client from being revealed to third parties.”
They also alleged damage to the image of Suntracs, since – according to the organization – the closure of the accounts had allegedly occurred for some “suspicious” reason.
Suntracs maintains that the CA’s action is an attempt by the government “to weaken its ability to fight”, in the situation that the country is experiencing, which has already been in intense marches and blockades against the contract with Minera Panama for more than a month. .
The union said that it now faces the impossibility of paying salaries to its staff and the impediment – due to lack of an account – of receiving the union dues deposited by 800 employers monthly.
The second action that the union took in the midst of this situation was to file a complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In a letter they sent to Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the ILO and addressed to Gilbert Houngbo, director of the Committee on Freedom of Association, they outlined the background of the case, from the ruling of unconstitutionality of Law 9 of 1997, to the approval of the current Law 406 of the mining contract.
A total of 1,175 packages of suspected cocaine were seized south of Punta Mala, Los Santos, by agents of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan), who apprehended the three crew members of an artisanal fishing boat that was transporting the illicit substance, reported this Wednesday. the institution.
The seizure of the voluminous shipment of drugs, cocaine, according to an official source told EFE , occurred within the framework of an “operation against organized crime carried out south of Punta Mala”, province of Los Santos, in the central Pacific.
The nationality of the three people who were arrested during the anti-drug action has not been specified.
Senan detailed that so far in 2023 it has carried out 125 effective operations against drug trafficking with the total seizure of 65,529 packages of illicit substances.
In 2022, Panama seized a historic amount of 138.41 tons of drugs, of which 108.82 were cocaine. So far in 2023, seizures exceed 85 tons, according to official figures.
The Central American country is used as a bridge for drugs produced in South America and whose main destination is the United States, the largest consumer of cocaine in the world, and also Europe.
An attempted feminicide was recorded on the night of Tuesday, November 21, when Emilia Antonia Rosario Hernández , 38 years old and of Dominican nationality, received several gunshot wounds at the entrance to the Emilia’s beauty salon, located in Plaza Gallery, Brisas del Golf (San Miguelito district).
According to preliminary reports from the authorities, the victim was closing the store when her ex-partner, José Oscar Germán de la Cruz , allegedly shot her several times, seriously wounding her.
According to the Police, the alleged attacker, 51 years old and also of Dominican nationality , after committing the bloody act, broke the glass of the door and entered the premises, being injured in the right arm.
The authorities are investigating whether the cuts the man suffered were intentional or the result of breaking the glass of the premises. The man is hospitalized.
It was learned that Emilia Rosario was the owner of the beauty salon and has been separated from José Oscar Germán de la Cruz for nine years.
According to statistics from the Public Ministry, until October of this year, 13 femicides, 5 attempted femicides and 25 violent deaths of women have been recorded.