Thursday 9th July 2023.

February 9, 2023


The general administrator of the Tourism Authority (ATP), Iván Eskildsen, will pay at least $210,000 to promote Carnival 2023. But what is relevant about this contract is not only the amount, but the award was made directly and to a company whose commercial activities are suspended in the Public Registry, that is, they cannot do business. Since August 2021, the Public Registry suspended the operations of Servicios Integrales Ancor, SA due to the lack of a resident agent. The suspension makes it impossible for the company, among other things, to “initiate legal processes, conduct business or dispose of its assets,” warns the document issued by the entity.

Yesterday, Wednesday, February 8, bailiffs from the Sixth Civil Court went to the residences of Annette Planells and the children of Mauricio Valenzuela, from the digital portal Foco Panamá, with the purpose of executing a kidnapping as part of proceedings brought by the former president for alleged slander and injury. First they went to a house located in the village of Pueblo Nuevo, in the capital, where Valenzuela’s underage children live. In a white truck they took a set of weights and some electrical appliances. In a video released by Crítica, Martinelli’s newspaper, lawyers Shirley Castañedas and Jessica Canto can be seen in the area, as well as Luis Eduardo Camacho, spokesperson for the former ruler. “This procedure is a judicial kidnapping that has been done to Mr. Valenzuela, as a result of damages to Mr. Ricardo Martinelli for everything that he, without proof, always argues and talks about him,” said Canto. Later, Castañeda, Canto and Camacho went to a building in Altos del Golf. At the gate of that property, the three of them, together with court personnel, were received by Daniel Flores Planells, who explained that they could not enter the apartment, since it is in the name of a corporation and, therefore, the property it is not hijackable. The bailiff insisted that the plaintiff had posted a bond to carry out the kidnapping, which ultimately failed to materialize.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) and the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), two unions that have publicly expressed their concern and rejection of the increase in municipal taxes in the district of Panama, were not invited officially to the special session of the Finance Commission of the Municipal Council of Panama, which will be held today, Thursday, exclusively to discuss this issue. Last Tuesday, after criticism from taxpayers and the business sector, the Municipal Council approved to convene its Finance Commission for an extended session, so that, in addition to the mayors, everyone who had an interest could participate. However, this medium consulted Temístocles Rosas, president of Apede, who reported that he had not been invited to the debate on Municipal Agreement 142 of 2022, through which a moratorium was established and taxes on taxpayers were increased. “This is not the time to raise taxes as businesses are currently recovering. This measure was not duly consulted and we are requesting that it be suspended,” Rosas said.

The vice mayor of the district of Panama, Judy Meana, presented her resignation on Wednesday from the position for which she was elected in May 2019 and questioned the “arbitrary practice” of Mayor José Luis Fábrega, in decision-making in local government. In a note dated February 8 and addressed to Fábrega, Meana stated the reasons for her decision: “After analyzing in depth this decision that I communicate here, you must be clear that this resignation from my position as vice mayor of the city of Panama for the period 2019-2024, only expresses my deep disagreement with his arbitrary practice in decision-making, which puts the credibility of his government at risk, approaching the dangerous abyss of injustice that causes discomfort in the population of the city”.

In their eagerness to favor mayors and corregimiento representatives, deputies of the National Assembly revived bill 890, which reforms the decentralization law, to allow local government authorities who held public office before being elected, choose your salary. For example, if at the time of being elected, a mayor earned $5,000 as a civil servant and the salary that corresponds to him in the municipality is lower, he will be able to continue receiving the salary he had before being elected, even if he does not work in that entity but in the commune. The Legislative Commission for Municipal Affairs, chaired by the pro-government Javier Sucre, returned to discuss project 890, despite the fact that last November President Laurentino Cortizo partially vetoed it due to inconvenience.The fundamental reason why the President of the Republic rejected the proposal is that there can be no unpaid leave with salary enjoyment.

The first judge to liquidate criminal cases, Águeda Rentería, accepted the 30-day term that the law gives her to determine if she calls Federico Suárez and Jorge Ruiz , former minister and former director of Contract Administration of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) to trial. ), respectively, for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement, in the contract awarded for the design and remodeling of the Domingo Díaz highway. During a hearing that took place on the morning of this Wednesday, February 8, in the First Criminal Case Settlement Court, the anti-corruption prosecutor Jenisbeth Malek requested that Suárez and Ruiz be prosecuted for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement.

Panama approved the installation of new technology and digital business free zones that will allow the country to increase its strategic potential as a digital hub in the region.The Presidency of the Republic informed that the Cabinet Council issued a favorable opinion for the  establishment of the Tech Valley free zone, through the company Galbay Holding Corp. They explained that with this zone they hope to capture the inclusion of some 120 companies including Hyundai Engenier. They estimate an initial investment of $50 million for the establishment of this free zone and expect it to generate around 1,140 jobs.


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