Thursday 7th December 2023.

December 6, 2023



The defense of former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2104) presented the brief in support of the cassation against the ruling of July 17, 2023, issued by the Second Liquidation Court of Criminal Cases , which sentenced him to a sentence of 128 months of prison and pay a fine of $19.2 million for money laundering in the so-called New Business case .

This was confirmed by Carlos Carrillo , from Martinelli’s team of lawyers, who did not provide further details of the arguments presented and that seek to reverse the sentence of Judge Baloisa Marquínez , which was already confirmed by the Superior Court for the Settlement of Criminal Cases in October. past.

An appeal is one presented to amend alleged “grievances” to the parties, inferred in judicial resolutions that become res judicata. This would be Martinelli’s second legal maneuver against Judge Marquínez’s sentence. The failed appeal to the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases was the first.

Carrillo explained that the support for the cassation was presented this Tuesday, December 5, two days before the deadline for the presentation of the cassation announced by each of the five defendants who were convicted in this case expired. Another 10 were acquitted.

He also explained that he presented a brief in which he warns that the electronic file that the court delivered to the lawyers on a USB is incomplete , which, according to Carrillo, constitutes a violation of due process. He adds that this electronic file is missing the statement of the expert from the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ), Eliseo Ábrego , who explained in detail how a basket account in the name of the company New Business Services was used , for contractors to deposit funds. to acquire the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), in December 2010.

Carrillo stressed that the USB has erroneous and incomplete information and that it reserves the right to file annulment appeals due to inconsistencies in the documents delivered.

The deputy administrator of the Authority for Government Innovation (AIG), Luis Carlos Stoute , spoke with at least five high-ranking officials and sent a letter to the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo , in his effort to make known what was happening. with the platform that manages the digital voucher .

Between last September and October, Stoute spoke with his then boss, Luis Oliva , former administrator of the AIG and current candidate for deputy for the PRD; with Benjamín Colamarco , from the Secretariat of Monitoring of Execution and Compliance of the Presidency; with the minister advisor José Alejandro Rojas ; with Nadia Del Río , Cortizo’s assistant, and with comptroller Gerardo Solís . Nobody paid attention to him.

Solís even told Stoute that he was “a very square and technical person and that, at my level, I should be more political”; that “my initiatives would harm the president’s flagship program, the digital voucher, which was a shame, because President Cortizo was doing a good job […]”, and that “I didn’t see anything wrong beyond what I “I was reporting to him and that his job was to ‘correct’ and not investigate.”

Stoute reported to the Public Ministry “irregularities or clear indications” of possible commission of crimes against the public administration, in the management of the digital voucher.

Also read: Cortizo and Solís ignored irregularities in the AIG in La Prensa

This Wednesday, the Ombudsman’s Office carried out a surprise inspection at the Minera Panamá facilities, located in the district of Donoso, province of Colón.

According to the entity, this inspection was carried out due to a complaint filed for possible violations of the right to free movement and the right to work. The complaint was presented yesterday, Tuesday, by a group of workers and subcontractors during a meeting with staff from the Ombudsman’s Office.

After this, the Ombudsman, Eduardo Leblanc González, together with the director of Citizen Services, Diego Almanza, and the director of Human Rights Protection, Julio De Gracia, are verifying that “the rights and fundamental guarantees of the workers, subcontractors and residents of the area,” the entity detailed in a statement.

During the tour, closures were observed on the roads of San Juanito and Ceiba, which prevents the exit of workers from the mine. At this time, the Ombudsman’s Office is meeting with residents and boatmen in the area.

It must be remembered that on November 28, the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice, unanimously, declared Law 406 of the concession contract between the State and the Minera Panamá company unconstitutional.

After learning of this decision of the magistrates, the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, said that “all Panamanians must respect and abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice.”

Yesterday, Tuesday, the first inter-institutional meeting of the Executive held to implement the Court’s ruling was reported and which was headed by the head of Commerce and Industries Jorge Rivera Staff.

Roads cannot be completely blocked and protesters will keep these areas free of trash and debris. The invasion and destruction of public and private property is prohibited. The organizers of the demonstrations will be responsible for damage caused to public and private property.

These are some measures that the Tierras Altas district , in Chiriquí, will implement to protect itself from the effects of street closures. For almost the entire month of November, this municipality, important for agricultural production, was surrounded due to protests against the mining contract.

The provision is recorded in Mayor Decree 15 of December 5, 2023 , signed by the mayor of Tierras Altas, Javier Pittí , and the general secretary, Lorena Rivera.

The decree also establishes that the mayor’s office must be notified 24 hours in advance of any meeting or demonstration. Furthermore, the corresponding justice of the peace must ensure respect for national regulations, with the collaboration of the public force.

The document is protected by articles 17, 27, and 38 of the Political Constitution , which guarantee free transit and peaceful meetings, respectively, as well as by Law 106 of 1973, modified by Law 52 of 1984, Law 37 of 2009 and article 29 of Law 16 of 2016, on municipal regime.

On November 22, the Tierras Altas Chamber of Tourism filed a criminal complaint against 21 people who blocked the roads for a month , preventing free transit, a situation that produced million-dollar losses for producers and tourism.

“More than 23 thousand people who live in the community are being affected and the losses are estimated at 50 million dollars,” said Maru Gálvez, president of the Chamber of Tourism.

As a result of the road blockades, the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro were isolated. Its residents reported time and time again that they felt kidnapped. They did not have access to fuel and cooking gas, as well as other food. Thousands of medical appointments and classes were missed and the population even took to the streets to ask for an end to the “kidnapping” they were in. The situation normalized after the Supreme Court of Justice (last November 28) declared Law 406 unconstitutional, which adopted the contract between the State and Minera Panamá, SA

Meanwhile, the Public Ministry admitted the complaint filed by the Tierras Altas Chamber of Tourism, against those people who promoted and carried out the closure of roads.

“A Christmas of Illusion” by the Office of the First Lady, led by Yazmín Colón de Cortizo, will hold this Thursday, December 7, the Christmas bazaar and concert in the dome of Parque Omar with the support of the Ministry of Culture.

The Bazaar includes: gastronomic trail with sale of cookies, ice cream, various sweets, tamales, tasting and sale of national coffee; It also includes the sale of items such as: candles, soaps, jewelry, glasses, shoes and clothing, and will also feature the participation of artisans.

On the artistic stage we will have varied presentations such as : storytelling with guest fairies, TanCubos, clowns, Christmas music by the Network of Youth Orchestras and Choirs of Panama, concert with the Escorpión de Paritilla Osvaldo Ayala and Pepina Sinfónico en Navidad.

The main areas of the park were decorated with decorations and lights so that families who visit daily can enjoy a Christmas atmosphere.

The start of the dry season is being recorded in some sectors of the country at least 10 days in advance, according to records from the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa).

According to the entity’s data, the last significant rains were recorded at the end of November and in the first days of December there was almost no rain throughout the country.

“December is the month that we consider to be the transition from the rainy season to the dry season. What we have seen this year is that this transition has been brought forward by up to about 10 days in some part of the country,” said Aracely Lau , national director of Climatology at Imhpa on TVN .

He highlighted that usually this change occurs from December 15, but that date has not been reached and we already have this dry season pattern.

Lau recalled that for the months of December and January the El Niño phenomenon will remain with a strong intensity, which indicates that temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have increased by at least two degrees Celsius.

Lau explained that this scenario will have an impact on the country. Higher temperatures and lower humidity will be felt, which will also be associated with decreased rainfall.

“We made a comparison of how the temperature has been in the first three days of December and we see that although they do not exceed the historical maximum temperatures, they are very close. On average, temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius are being recorded,” Lau explained.

Regarding the thermal sensation in the country, he said that it will vary according to the percentage of humidity and the place, but it will be greater than 33 degrees; Depending on the time it would be between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius.

The year 2023 is among the driest since 1981. The lack of rain is affecting several sectors of the country, including traffic through the Panama Canal , which led the administration of the interoceanic waterway to reduce the passage of vessels per day and adjust the draft of Neopanamax boats.


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