Tuesday 11th April 2023.

April 10, 2023


It is the dream of thousands of people, but only a few achieve it: obtain state land for pennies –or less– per square meter. The most visible faces of these businesses are deputies and ministers and, in this case, Capira deputy Yanibel Ábrego (Cambio Democrático), is one of those privileged few. And it’s not the first time.

The latest acquisition is 18.4 titled hectares –divided into two farms– located in the mountainous area of ​​the township of Cirí Grande, in Capira, delivered to Ábrego by the National Land Administration Authority (Anati) on March 23, at a cost of $120, that is, less than one cent per square meter. Thus, arguing a “social function”, Anati has contributed to Ábrego accumulating hectares of land in that same district. This medium has recorded at least 66.5 hectares obtained by the Anati deputy. Some have even been transferred to their companies.

His “purchases” from the State are not new. In July 2012, Ábrego paid $60 for 9.4 hectares, that is, less than $6.50 per hectare or thousandths of a cent per square meter. The property borders the Indio River and the Indio River street of Los Chorros de Jordanal, in Cirí Grande, Capira. It is here, precisely, where once again, Ábrego obtained last March the 18.4 hectares that, according to the official, he will use for “agricultural activities”, of which he did not give details.

The transfer of 2,361 hectares of national lands from the project for the consolidation of areas and protection of water sources and environmental conservation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has not yet been completed with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, reported the entity.

In order to protect these lands, located on the west bank of the Canal, said the ACP administrator, Ricaurte Vásquez, $550 million would be allocated this year. Vásquez’s announcement was made in September 2022, during the support of the ACP budget in the National Assembly. That is, the ACP would pay $22.20 per square meter.

This price contrasts with that of the national forested lands in Capira and close to beaches in Colón, which the National Land Administration Authority (Anati) delivered last year, in exchange for cents –or less– per square meter to Yanibel deputies Ábrego and Raúl Pineda, from Cambio Democrático and the Partido Revolucionario Democrático, respectively.

Both deputies confirmed that the land is used for their private businesses.

Three of the four parties forced to go to primaries have already separated the position: their leaders will be the ones who will decide their respective candidates to direct the Mayor of Panama, a not insignificant position since it is an entity with an annual budget of $310.3 million and a payroll of 5 thousand 7 employees.

At the same time, in the race for free nomination, some figures already stand out who will measure forces with the political parties for the second most important

With a management marked by controversy, among other things due to his desire to build an artificial beach and a new seafood market on the coastal strip, projects that were rejected by the citizens, José Luis Fábrega, the current mayor of the capital, does not have insured your application. The political group to which he belongs, the ruling Revolutionary Party (PRD), reserved this position for a possible alliance. That is to say, it will not submit it to primaries on June 11.

“That reserve has no name. Between now and July we have to make that decision. We are going to see how Fábrega behaves”, assured the deputy Raúl Pineda, third undersecretary of the National Executive Committee of the PRD, in an interview for the Knockout published by La Prensa on February 5 of this year.

Cambio Democrático (CD) also reserved this position for a possible alliance. Rómulo Roux, president of the party, for several months has been in talks with the opposition Panameñista Party, the new Social Independent Alternative Party (PAIS) and Alianza.

While Realizing Goals (RM), a group chaired by former governor Ricardo Martinelli, reserved this position for the party. In other words, the board of directors, chaired by Martinelli, is the one who will decide who will be the candidate for that position. Martinelli publicly offered that nomination to deputy Génesis Arjona, who is a CD militant and belongs to the faction of deputy Yanibel Ábrego.

Arjona is in the group of CD deputies that failed to place a significant number of followers among those conventionally elected on March 19.

While the Panameñista Party, chaired by former mayor José Isabel Blandón, is the only one of the groups of more than 200,000 adherents that will hold primaries for the Mayor’s Office of Panama. Guillermo Willie Bermúdez, representative of Don Bosco, has already informed that he will run for that position. The Panameñista Party primaries are scheduled for July 23, the same day that the rest of the electoral offer will be chosen.

The candidates of the parties will have to compete for the votes of the capital with three candidates of the free postulation. So far, those who have collected the most signatures are Edison Broce, independent deputy; Iván Blasser, businessman, and Luis Casis, former candidate for Vice President of the Republic.

Organized crime has been directing its gaze at the country’s natural resources, to take advantage of it. The flora and fauna, as the years go by, are impacted by their criminal activities.

The statistical reports of the Public Ministry account for this reality. For example, between January and February of this year, environmental crimes maintain a trend very similar to that reported during 2022.

Between January and February 2023, 56 environmental crimes have been reported, while in the same period last year 55 were recorded, which represents an average of one per day.

The cases range from illegal deforestation in protected areas to mining, non-compliance with environmental impact studies and forest fires. The provinces where the most cases of environmental crimes are reported are Coclé, Darién, Chiriquí and Panama.

In fact, the Ministry of the Environment reported that it is investigating a fire within the La Yeguada reserve, in Veraguas, which impacted some 100 hectares.

“It is also not ruled out that it could have been a malicious hand that caused the fire,” said the environmental entity.

This is not the first time that a fire of this magnitude has been reported in that protected area. Also in April 2022, a similar disaster occurred that consumed another 100 hectares of its valuable forest resources.

In the words of Hermel López, former director of the Ministry of Environment in the province of Darién, many of these fires are provoked and seek an end: the appropriation of land.

López had to monitor and report to the judicial authorities several cases of fires in Darién in the last government administration (2014-2019), since those responsible for the fires, some in protected areas, built houses and then claimed possessory rights over them. properties.

Precisely, in recent years complaints have been filed in various ecological reserves and provinces for arson. For example, between March and April 2019, several arson fires devastated about a thousand hectares of the Punta Patiño ecological reserve, in Darién.

As a result of this, the National Association for the Conservation of Nature filed complaints for the Public Ministry to investigate.

The 12th edition of the International Festival of Performing Arts (FAE 2023) to be held in Panama between May 15 and 20 will have the participation of groups from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Spain and Mexico, reported the organizers.

Among the countries that have already confirmed are Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, reported Roberto King, from the Experimental University Film Group (GECU) of the University of Panama, one of the organizers of the meeting.

From Argentina, for example, comes the production ‘Una’, based on the novel One, none and one hundred thousand , about the decomposition of personality, written by the Italian Luigi Pirandello, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934.

The FAE Panama has stood out since its inception in 2004 for offering a selection of theatrical and dance works, not only of great stage quality and with excellent performers, but also for sharing current, human, social and political issues with the public in a powerful and overwhelming.

Among the locations are the City of Knowledge Athenaeum (Clayton), the Anita Villalaz Theater (San Felipe) and the GECU Multipurpose Studio (Avenida 3a Norte). The international batch will take place every day at 7:30 p.m. and the local one at 9:00 p.m.


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