Tuesday 26th September 2023.

September 25, 2023


The former Minister of the Presidency, Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu, admitted that for many years he dedicated himself to carrying out dirty campaigns to destroy the lives of many families around the world. He said that he regrets it, but at the same time he issued a warning: if it is his turn to “dust off that bag of tricks” he will do so.

Papadimitriu, who served as Minister of the Presidency between July 2009 and July 2012 , in the government of Ricardo Martinelli , made the confession in a message he published on Twitter, this Monday, September 25 at 9:06 am However, He later deleted it and wrote another to respond to journalist Sabrina Bacal, who referred to the issue on the same social network. “ I saw something I didn’t like and I reacted without thinking. “I believe in freedom of expression but I don’t like it when they mess with anyone’s family ,” she wrote.

The former minister, one of the 36 accused in the Odebrecht case, would be working in the political campaign of Martinelli, who seeks to return to the Las Garzas Palace with the May 2024 elections, nominated by his Realizing Goals and Alliance party, a group of the former deputy. José Muñoz Molina.

Last Sunday, the day Martinelli announced that his wife Marta Linares will be his running mate, Papadimitriu was at the event and sat at a table located in the front row. He applauded effusively.

In July 2011, a year before resigning from the Martinelli government, in an interview he gave to La Prensa , he assured that in the cabinet they called him “the Machiavellian Greek.” At that time he said that his relations with some of his fellow ministers were tense. “Some think that I influence Panama America , and what goes out there because I know Santiago Fascetto [associate director]. I think that has caused a distance between the ministers and me. It has been very difficult for me to try to convince them that I have absolutely nothing to do with that (…)”, he narrated.

Those were times when he was considered a super minister. In the Palacio de las Herons nothing happened without his approval, and he himself took charge of proclaiming it. “Anyone who wants something to be done will see who has the power and where it has to come,” he once told Barbara Stephenson, former United States ambassador in Panama, without imagining that this confidence would be laid bare with the Wikileaks leak . .

Papadimitriu’s confession has already begun to dominate the public conversation. Lina Vega, president of the Foundation for the Development of Citizen Freedom, Panamanian chapter of Transparency International, on Twitter, stated that the issue “should provoke some institutional reaction” and mentioned the General Electoral Prosecutor’s Office.

The former minister’s message was published after a weekend of political effervescence: Martinelli designated his wife as a candidate for the vice presidency, the Panameñista Party ratified the presidential list Rómulo Roux-José Blandón , while the candidates Martín Torrijos , of the Popular Party ; and José Gabriel Carrizo, from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, were shown in Guararé, Los Santos province, during the La Mejorana Festival.

The board of directors of the Social Independent Alternative Party (PAIS) approved this Monday, September 25, to support the presidential candidacy through the free nomination of Melitón Arrocha.

“This is called an electoral agreement, but it has the same effects as an electoral alliance,” said José Alberto Toto Álvarez , president of the PAIS collective, after the board vote.

The decision made by the PAIS collective comes after being marginalized from the alliance between Cambio Democrático and the Panameñista Party, who have Rómulo Roux as a candidate for the presidency and José Isabel Blandón for the vice presidency.

For his part, Arrocha thanked PAIS for its support, while highlighting that there was a conversation about the transversal issues that are part of his political campaign.

“On our part there has been an approach to several candidates, including some independents, to generate a great alliance for the next electoral elections. We understand that no person who could have been successful in a general election has not gone in alliance,” Arrocha stated. With this announcement, the legally constituted parties have already defined their presidential option. To complete the presidential lists, the only thing left is for Martín Torrijos, presidential candidate of the Popular Party, and Ricardo Lombana, of the Otro Camino Movement, to announce their respective running mates for the vice presidency.

The passage of at least 390,000 migrants through the Darién jungle this year has generated nearly $700 million in income for organized crime, reported this Monday Jorge Gobea, director of the National Border Service (Senafront ) .

Panamanian authorities have denounced that the Gulf Clan controls and profits from the arrival of irregular migrants to Colombian communities, which are the previous step before entering Panamanian territory.

“By seeing and taking advantage of the opportunity of the global migration phenomenon, and the instability in the countries of the region; Mainly Haiti, Venezuela and Ecuador, they have realized that this is a way to profit. This is an activity that represents $700 million for the Gulf Clan,” Gobea stated in statements to TVN.

The relatives of a youth representative from Panama Oeste filed a complaint with the Public Ministry (MP) for alleged sexual assault against the minor. The event would have occurred, presumably in the middle of the activities of the program organized by the National Assembly , the Ministry of Education (Meduca) and the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

The victim is a 17-year-old minor, a student at a school in La Chorrera. Gladis, her mother, said that on Saturday, September 16, when she picked up her daughter in the Meduca region of Panama Oeste, after participating in the program, the girl acted completely different from the day she he went away. She “ She was a dynamic, happy girl with a good heart, a leader on her campus. She won as a youth deputy and went to the Youth Assembly from Saturday, September 9 at 11 am and was picked up in the Meduca region of Panama Oeste on Saturday, September 16. Upon her return (…) she did not recognize or make an approach when she saw the arrival of her mother. I watched her go away, lost look, arms dropped and tears. She was like in a mental loop repeating that politicians are corrupt and people are bad”, said the mother in an Instagram live, hosted by lawyer Wyznick Ortega during the night of last Sunday, September 25.

The student’s mother told lawyer Ortega that a psychologist diagnosed her daughter with mental instability with psychotic episodes due to post-traumatic stress due to a very strong event (…) possibly exposed to sexual assault. The girl is currently hospitalized.

In the live, lawyer Ortega read a series of WhatsApp messages, presumably from the victim, in which she informed a colleague that her drink (a glass of water) had been altered with a substance. This episode would have occurred on Thursday, September 14, during a lunch attended by several students. Politicians close to the Legislature would also have participated there.

“Neither the Assembly nor the committee gives me an answer to anything (…),” said the student’s mother. She even assured that she never had the details of the agenda of activities of the program in which her daughter participated.

“The psychologist’s observations are that she was under the influence of a drug. Her pupils were dilated, her eyes were not well (…)”, said the woman, who added that “everything agrees… they drugged her and then sexually abused her. She was violated.”

In a statement, the National Assembly reported that it will provide all support to the authorities during the investigation. The institution adds that in the development of the program all established protocols for the safety, care and well-being of the participants were “rigorously” followed, a practice that has been maintained during the 15 versions of the initiative.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Tribunal reported that it is also available to the corresponding authorities to cooperate in the investigations of the case.

While students from the Tomás Guardia school, located in La Chorrera, protested in the streets demanding justice.

The topic was echoed during the period of incidents of the legislative session this Monday, September 25.

In an inter-institutional operation, last Friday, September 22, the authorities detected two Colombian vessels that were carrying out this activity illegally.

Miambiente reported that cuts from several species of shark such as silky, hammerhead and thresher were found, as well as a olive ridley turtle.

It was reported that despite detecting two vessels in the area, only one could be stopped, since the other was somewhat distant, but the records and data of the vessel are available. The search continues and the Colombian authorities were notified to be able to locate the ship.

Personnel from Miambiente, the National Aeronaval Service and the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama participated in the operation.

It was detailed that eight Colombian citizens were detained and taken to the port of Pedregal (Chiriquí) to proceed with the administrative sanction and evaluate whether the case will be transferred to the criminal sphere, through the Environmental Crimes Prosecutor’s Office.

“The sharks found are vulnerable according to the list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), specifically they are included in Appendix II. This means that they are at a possible risk of extinction in the wild, where one of the possible causes is international trade,” Miambiente highlighted in a statement.

The arrival of international visitors to Panama, which includes the sum of tourists, cruise passengers, and one-day visitors, grew in the first half of 2023 by 55.1% according to data revealed yesterday, Friday, September 22, by the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP). .

Between January and June of this year, a total of 1,337,142 visitors entered the country, representing 474,953 additional people to the 862,189 registered in the same period of 2022.

In contrast to the first half of 2019 before the pandemic, the recovery amounts to 3.5%.

The ATP reflects that income from tourism totaled 2,791 million dollars, representing an increase of 22.9% in contrast to the first half of 2022.


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