Tuesday 18th July 2023.

July 17, 2023


An amparo of constitutional guarantees against the contract signed between the Panamanian State and the Minera Panamá company was presented this Monday, before the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) by the Environmental Advocacy Center (CIAM).

The appeal, which includes a request to provisionally suspend the contract until the Court resolves the merits of the claim, is based on the fact that there was no due popular consultation of the aforementioned contract.

The lawyer Mariela Gabriel Dutary, representing CIAM, said that the public consultation carried out by the State “did not comply with the required transparency standards” for the approval of a contract that has “serious implications” for the environment and the national economy.

Dutary added that the Court’s magistrates must carry out a thorough review of the clauses of the contract before the National Assembly approves it.

Meanwhile, former deputy mayor and environmentalist Raisa Banfield said that government negotiators approved a contract similar to the one that the Court declared unconstitutional and that forced a renegotiation of the conditions for the exploitation of the mine.

The Cabinet Council, in its session on June 14, 2023, approved the new State contract with Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian company First Quantum, to maintain its concession in Donoso, Colón. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Federico Alfaro Boyd, was authorized to sign the new contract on behalf of the Panamanian State, which was under citizen scrutiny from March 24 to April 22.

The Vice President of the Republic of Panama, José Gabriel Carrizo, was “sure” this Monday in Brussels that our country will be excluded from international lists that consider it a tax haven and deficient in money laundering, including those of the European Union (EU).

“We have the visit of the FATF (International Financial Action Group) in September, and this will allow, I am sure, with the 15 actions pending from Panama, to get off that list,” said Carrizo in the Belgian capital, where he is attending the first summit between the EU and the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) in eight years.

“Likewise, we will be leaving the lists of the European Union for the benefit of Panamanians,” he said.

The vice president of Panama referred to the trip that FATF will carry out next September to the Central American country as part of the steps to remove it from the list of nations with deficiencies in the fight against money laundering.

Carrizo also stated that at the summit on Monday and Tuesday they will discuss “important issues and will try to “bring closer ties between Latin America and the European Union.”

Climate risk will be one of the aspects they address, and in this sense, Panama will value “the great steps it has taken” in environmental conservation.

The ratification of Martin Torrijos occurs amid threats of an expulsion process for him and for those who follow him from his Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). Torrijos decided, last March, to return to the Palacio de Las Garzas, but this time, away from his collective and clinging to the support of his ally, since 2004, the PP, who allowed him to run without resigning from the ranks of the party that he helped found with his father Omar Torrijos Herrera.

“This week the party is going to open a process against me, but I don’t care,” said the former president. De Gracia of the PRD assures that Torrijos violates the statute of the collective, running for another party without the permission of the National Executive Committee (CEN).

Amid cheers and ovations, he continued saying: “they don’t care about the frustration of young people who can’t find work or who can’t continue their studies due to lack of resources, nor do they care about the sacrifice of thousands of Panamanians who wake up standing in line and not getting an appointment or medicine, nor do they care about the fear with which so many women who are violated living in the streets and in their homes (…) they do not understand that they are Panamanians who have the right to live with dignity. The last straw was that not even the misfortunes and suffering that we Panamanians suffered in the pandemic prevented some from dedicating themselves to searching (…)”. Under this scenario, he promised to end clientelism and corruption, the formation of a joint cabinet, social justice, citizen participation. He assured that on May 5, 2024, in 295 days, these changes will begin.

In less than 24 hours and in separate operations, the anti-drug authorities managed to seize 1,399 kilos of cocaine destined for markets in Europe and the United States.

The first of these took place last Sunday in Isla Grande, when officials from the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) stopped the Nefertiti sailboat, which inside was carrying 739 packages of cocaine that were intended to be transferred to a boat to be taken to the coast.

During the operation, Rayn Balentina and Francisco López, who were inside the sailboat, were captured. Stefano Moreno, Antonio Palacio Stefano Pérez were also apprehended in the operation.

According to the authorities, this group of people intended to take the drug to the coast of Colón to hide it and divide it into smaller shipments to later send it to the European market and the United States.

While this Monday officials from the National Intelligence Directorate and the Public Ministry of Colón (MP) seized 602 kilos of cocaine that were inside a container.

The container, located in the Cristóbal sector, was on the Gemlik Express ship from Ecuador and whose destination was Europe. In this case, the authorities do not have people apprehended.

Last week the authorities seized 2.3 tons of drugs in operations carried out on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

The search for a solution to the shortage and the cost of medicines is addressed by a Technical Commission on Medicines of the Presidency of the Republic that was installed in February 2022. However, a year later the problem persists in the country.

Among the options proposed by the National Government is the National Medicines Observatory of Panama, which is still in the process of being created, six months after Executive Decree 2 of January 16, 2023 was issued, where it is regulated and establishes the guidelines of this technological platform.

This observatory was created by article 17 of Law 97 of October 4, 2019 “which modifies and adds articles to Law 1 of January 2001 on medicines and other public health products and dictates other provisions “.

The decree indicates in its article 4 that ” through this technological platform of the observatory, permanent monitoring of the prices to which the State accesses in its purchases of medicines will be maintained, as well as the behavior of the pharmaceutical industry, offering updated, structured information. and auditable of international reference prices, to support the best decisions in the supply of medicines that allow reaching competitive prices for public health projects”.

However, the progress of this application is merely administrative and the fact is that the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, decided that the observatory be under the umbrella of the Directorate of Health Planning.

The director of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Minsa , Elvia Lau, pointed out that the Directorate of Health Planning and the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) meet to determine the needs of the technological tool.

She added that the elaboration of the tool is in process, since the needs are being determined.

The official stated that once the requirements for the technological tool are determined, it will be possible to know the budget it requires.

Article 6 of Executive Decree 2 of January 16, 2023 establishes who must provide the information that the observatory requires to strengthen the drug supply, traceability and safety system, and transparency, which allows, among other things, to measure the behavior of these in the national and international market, among the institutions that must provide information is the Social Security Fund (CSS).

The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) issued a surveillance notice due to the passage of tropical wave No. 15 in the country.

The entity specified that the tropical wave will be generating rainy events and electrical storms in various sectors of Panama.

Under this notice −which will be valid from this Monday until 4:30 am on Tuesday, July 18− are all the indigenous provinces and regions.

The National Civil Protection System has urged the population to be aware of the flooding of rivers.

“I am very proud of this Sele, because despite the difficulties and negative moments we have always continued working hard and in silence to achieve our goals and take Panama as high as possible.”

This is how the Panamanian player Alberto Quintero reacted on his social networks, after La Sele fell 1-0 in the 2023 Gold Cup final played against Mexico.

“It hurts a lot. We have done everything possible to give this joy, especially to you, the fans, who are always by our side,” wrote Negrito Quintero on the Instagram social network. However, the current soccer player of the Cienciano Club of Peru was confident that “we will come back stronger.”

His teammate on the Panamanian national soccer team, Édgar Yoel Bárcenas (who plays for Mazatlán FC in the Liga MX), also addressed the fans through social media. “This does not end here, we will continue working and preparing ourselves,” he said.

While the Panamanian player Iván Anderson (Monagas SC of the Venezuelan First Division) shared that “God’s timing will always be perfect”, with images of him in the game against the Mexicans. “Let’s go for more,” he added.

Meanwhile, Fidel Escobar, who is a member of Deportivo Saprissa of the Costa Rican First Division, expressed that he is “proud to represent my country, this path was not easy but we will continue working to come stronger. I love you Panama.


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