Tuesday 18th April 2023.

April 17, 2023


The trial of the New Business case for alleged money laundering, in which there are 20 defendants and which was scheduled to begin this Monday, was suspended.

This was confirmed by sources of the Judicial Branch. Now the trial would be held from May 23 to June 5, 2023, which is the alternate reserved date. One of the defendants in this case is the former President of the Republic Ricardo Martinelli.

As reported, the decision is due to the presentation of two new appeals by the defense.

The first appeal that must be resolved is a challenge against Judge Baloisa Marquínez, of the Third Settlement Court for Criminal Cases; the other is an appeal against evidence that the judge would have denied to some defense attorneys.

It must be remembered that this case stems from the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering through the New Business company, which was used to purchase Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), presumably with public funds.

A criminal complaint against the mayor of the Capira district, Jorge Ramos, for the possible commission of a crime against the public administration in the modality of different forms of embezzlement and possible corruption of public servants was filed this Monday, April 17 at the Public Ministry.

The action was filed by the lawyer Neftalí Jaén, as a result of the recent publications in the newspapers La Prensa and Mi Diario , on April 10, which are entitled: Deputy Yanibel Ábrego acquires more state land for pennies .

Jaén specifically referred to the images published in the journalistic report where heavy machinery of the Capira Mayor’s Office can be seen inside a private finca, “what could be considered as embezzlement of public funds.”

The complainant emphasized that public officials, who have state assets under their custody, cannot use them “arbitrarily” to benefit relatives or political associates, cousins,​ ​​on private farms and “make private roads to the detriment of the population.” .

“There is a piece of news called noticia criminis  where the machinery duly identified as Municipality of Capira is inside a private farm and not on a road adjacent to the areas of Caracoral, in the village of Cirí Grande, district of Capira,” he said.

Jaén insisted that “no property of the communal boards and specifically of the Municipality of Capira can be used to embezzle funds, man hours, diesel, gasoline, operator, driver, to help relatives to make private roads for them.”

According to the investigation by La Prensa cited by Jaén, Ábrego’s latest acquisition is 18.4 titled hectares –divided into two farms– located in the mountainous area of ​​the Cirí Grande corregimiento, in Capira, delivered to Ábrego by the National Land Administration Authority on March 23, at a cost of $120, that is, less than one cent per square meter. La Prensa has recorded at least 66.5 hectares obtained by the deputy Ábrego from Anati. Some have even been transferred to her companies.

Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo, one of those who seeks to obtain the presidential candidacy of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the primary elections that will be held on June 9, gave a speech Sunday in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, where threw comments aimed at his political adversaries, but not precisely at those of the PRD.

“I have nothing in common with Ricardo Martinelli, he stole it but he did it, that’s cowardly. Subjugating a people is for cowards, ”he assured from a platform that he shared with his allies.

For some, Carrizo used a single quip to hit what would be two of his opponents in the May 2024 elections: Ricardo Lombana, president of the Otro Camino Movement, and Ricardo Martinelli, former president of the Republic.

Lombana was recently criticized for the controversial phrase: “We are both called Ricardo Alberto and I think we both want the best for this country”, words he used to refer to Martinelli with whom he met at the signing of the Digital Ethics Pact at the headquarters of the Tribunal Electoral. .

The issue caused a storm in public opinion, to the point that last week, Lombana admitted that she had an episode in which he said a phrase that he should never have said.

The Lombana campaign has not commented on Carrizo’s words, but the person who did speak was Martinelli’s spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho. “Gaby Carrizo is right. He has nothing in common with my brother (Martinelli), who made his fortune working to build a business empire (…) ”, he wrote on Twitter.

While Raúl Conte, a specialist in communication and political marketing, believes that the vice president brought out a narrative that seeks to create a common enemy outside the PRD. However, adds Conte, the figures that accompany him “are just as questionable as the former president.”

Kidney failure patients protested this Monday, April 17, 2023 on the premises of the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex .

After 7:00 am, the demonstrators blocked the vehicular passage along the Transístmica highway, which caused traffic congestion.

At noon, the closure of the roads was maintained in its entirety at this point.

The patients have shown their discontent with the public act carried out by the administration of the Social Security Fund (CSS) for “the hemodialysis service and supply of hemodialysis kits, as well as the design, construction and qualification of hemodialysis units, according to Technical specifications”. The tender, with a reference price of $180.8 million, is being evaluated by a commission, after only one offer from the so-called Renal Consortium was received.

“We are fighting here in the streets for the repeal or suspension of the public bidding for 180 million [dollars] for the construction, equipment, and administration of new [hemodialysis] rooms,” said Alejandro Alba, a kidney patient. “We do not know the quality of the teams” and also “we were not listened to,” he said.

As a result of this closure, MiBus announced that it was diverting the buses that offer the transport service on the Transístmica highway and on Ricardo J. Alfaro avenue.

In Coclé, a protest was also developed for this same reason. In this case, the patients were protesting in front of the Dr. Rafael Estévez Regional Hospital, in Aguadulce.

Bolívar Márquez, spokesman for the patients, insisted that more companies must compete in the act. Being a single company, then the process is not transparent, he claimed.

He also complained about the lack of consultation with the beneficiaries of the tender. “Patients deserve respect”.

This tender is to provide service to the 18 existing hemodialysis units, added to the six new units, which would total 270 hemodialysis machines, with the capacity to serve at least 3,000 patients per month, 800 more compared to the 2,200 that are currently receiving care.

On this issue, the CSS has reported that the public procurement law was complied with to the letter in the bidding process.

His more than 30 years in Panama made him feel like one from our own backyard. Spanish chef Pedro Masoliver Borras passed away on Sunday April 16 in Barcelona, ​​Spain, following a cancer diagnosis. This was confirmed by his relatives through social networks.

Pedro Masoliver led the restaurant Café Balear , founded in Panama City in 1992, and his professional career included positions as executive chef in different restaurants and hotels in the capital. He was recognized for being one of the main judges of the Top Chef Panamá competition , broadcast by Telemetro .

He arrived in Panama in October 1991. In 2021, he shared a message of thanks to our country on his social media accounts for receiving him during those three decades.

“30 years ago today I left my hometown for this country that has welcomed me with affection and has given me everything I have, three beautiful children and a phenomenal wife, as well as the opportunity to work every day in what I like the most. , THE KITCHEN”, he tweeted on October 4, 2021.

“You fulfilled so many dreams: having a family, being a chef in your own restaurant, seeing your team and their history, meeting your favorite singers and artists and giving them a taste of your delicacies. You grew big an ocean away. You taught me that dreaming costs nothing and that dreams come true,” read the statement shared by María Laura Masoliver , the chef’s daughter.


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