Tuesday 27th February 2024.

February 26, 2024


The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime maintains an ongoing investigation against the Single Union of Construction and Similar Workers (Suntracs) for the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering.

The information was confirmed by Antonio Vargas , a member of the Suntracs legal team, who explained that last week they appeared at the prosecutor’s office, after receiving unofficial information about an ongoing investigation against the union.

Vargas told La Prensa that the investigation began on January 5, based on a report from the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) , which documented “suspicious” movements of funds belonging to Suntracs.

The lawyer stated that, after reviewing the documentation, it was possible to specify that the alleged irregularities correspond to movements of funds generated by the union itself for the activities of its affiliates in various parts of the country. Therefore, there would be no indication of illegal activity. Vargas thinks that the Public Ministry is being used for “political purposes,” but he did not show evidence to support that assertion.

The UAF reports refer to activities carried out by Suntracs in the years 2021 and 2023, including the alleged use of funds to finance protest actions against Law 406 of 2023, which adopted the contract between the State and Minera Panamá. Subsequently, on November 28, the contract law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Justice.

On December 15, the Savings Bank informed Suntracs that it was closing the bank accounts that the union had in that state bank.

José Gabriel Gaby Carrizo , presidential candidate of the alliance between the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena) , is the presidential candidate who has generated the greatest number of negative responses in the interactive “quiz” developed by The Press.

At the time of writing this note, Carrizo accumulated 5,710 responses from readers who responded that they disagreed with his speech and proposals.

The phrase “In this country, the person who best manages the crisis is the PRD. We had unemployment figures of 18% in the middle of the pandemic and today they are in single digits”, is the one that has had the most rejection, with 1,873 readers who said that they did not identify with that statement by Carrizo, pronounced in a forum of presidential candidates organized by La Prensa last January.

Carrizo’s highest rated expression has been: “Whoever says that he will end corruption is lying”, since 974 people who responded to the quiz said that they do agree with this phrase and it is the only statement by the vice president of the Republic where they predominated. the Yes”.

The presidential candidate who has so far obtained the most affirmative responses ( he has already had 6,369 ) is Martín Torrijos, standard bearer of the Popular Party.

While 1,926 readers stated that they disagreed with his opinions.

“Really, we need to build new reservoirs in the interior to guarantee water for the provinces and agriculture,” was Torrijos’ expression that received the most positive votes so far: 1,815.

On the other hand, his statement that generated the most rejection is: “Panama requires a government that can sit down with all sectors and make decisions. “It is time and I have the ability to lead a real transformation of the country.” He accumulated 910 “no”s.

Rómulo Roux, standard bearer of the alliance between Cambio Democrático (CD) and the Panameñista Party, had 5,988 “yes” at the time of writing this news and 2,933 “no”.

José Raúl Mulino , from the political pact between Realizing Goals and Alianza, received 5,388 “yes” and 2,862 “no”.

Ricardo Lombana , from the Otro Camino Movement (Moca), generated 5,411 “yes” and 2,570 “no”. After Torrijos, Lombana is the second presidential candidate whose phrases generated less rejection from readers.

Maribel Gordón , presidential candidate for free nomination and with a leftist tendency, had 4,855 “yes” and 2,966 “no”.

Melitón Arrocha , who in addition to running for free nomination, represents the Social Independent Alternative Party, obtained 4,783 “Yes” and 2,854 “No”.

Representative Zulay Rodríguez , candidate for the Presidency of the Republic and for re-election through free nomination, generated 4,388 “yes” and 2,783 “no”.

As readers join the quiz , the results are updated.

For the interactive quiz , La Prensa took as a basis 32 statements by presidential candidates on political and social issues, a dynamic where participants freely chose the set of ideas with which they most agree.

The quiz includes four random statements from each of the presidential candidates.

By answering all the questions, the reader will know which candidate or candidates most align with their thoughts, without explicitly revealing who made each statement.

The Superior Court of Appeals confirmed the precautionary measure of provisional detention for an official of the Government Innovation Authority (AIG), for the alleged commission of the crime of fraud and manipulation of databases or computer systems to the detriment of beneficiaries of the Digital Vale system .

According to investigators, the official, upon having access to the CedulaD platform , allegedly made changes to the access credentials in the user account of various beneficiaries of the Digital Voucher. She then provided the information to third parties, who exchanged the benefit in various businesses in the district of San Miguelito, province of Panama.

The woman was charged with thirteen charges for the same crime to the detriment of beneficiaries of the Vale Digital program; resulting in the order of the precautionary measure of provisional detention.

The precautionary measure was requested due to the number of cases that the accused maintains and the seriousness of the nature of the crime.

A court declared “non-viable” a habeas corpus request in favor of José Antonio Chepi Carrizo Mérida , nine days after the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) received the order to capture and imprison him for defrauding Corporación La Prensa, SA ( Corprensa) .

The habeas corpus suit was filed by a law student named Emilys Guerra , representing Carrizo.

The decision not to proceed with the habeas corpus was adopted by judges Manuel Mata Avendaño, José Hoo Justiniani and Eyda Amarilis Júarez , of the Superior Court for the Settlement of Criminal Cases, on February 22, although it was announced this Monday, February 26. February, through Edict 53.

The instruction to capture and imprison Carrizo was issued by criminal judge Agueda Rentería on February 15, in a note addressed to Commissioner Sergio Delgado, director of the DIJ.

On April 11, 2022, Carrizo was sentenced by another judge ( Baloisa Marquínez , of the Second Liquidator of Criminal Cases Court) to 7 years in prison; As an accessory penalty, he was disqualified from exercising public functions for four years. The sentence was confirmed on August 4, 2022 by the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases.

Next Friday, March 1, a sentence execution hearing will be held for former Minister of Social Development (Mides), Guillermo Ferrufino , sentenced to six years in prison for unjustified enrichment.

Ferrufino has not entered prison, although the conviction has been final since last December, when the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) denied an appeal presented by the former minister’s defense. Originally, the sentence was handed down on February 22, 2022, by the now defunct Third Court for Criminal Cases.

At the beginning of the month, the First Criminal Cases Court sent a letter to the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) to make effective the capture of the former minister.

Ferrufino was sentenced to six years in prison, after having failed to justify the sum of $2.2 million, accumulated while he was minister of Mides, during the administration of former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

He also maintains a 48-month prison sentence for the crime of corruption of an official and is awaiting sentencing in a process for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement to the detriment of the National Aid Program (PAN), for the rental of helicopters to carry out Mides tours to different parts of the country.

In the midst of the dispute between the sanitation workers and the management of the Urban and Home Cleaning Authority (AAUD) , the lack of effectiveness in the garbage collection process in some sectors of Panama City has become evident, according to complaints the clients of this entity.

In the town of Betania , some residents complain that the collection trucks have not collected waste for more than 10 days; They even point out that the bad smell from the accumulation of garbage is strong.

The same situation is recorded in San Francisco , where they report that they have not collected waste for more than a week. In the Locería sector, residents also request to improve the frequency of garbage collection, since it takes up to three weeks to carry out the work.

Other points in the city with accumulated garbage are reported in 5 de Mayo , Calidonia and areas near the plant; Even the accumulation is already blocking the roads.

On the Amador Causeway, the same story is also repeated; The garbage was scattered everywhere, from the playground to the bike paths, and the tanks couldn’t keep up. Yesterday, Sunday, in this sector, the Ironman 70.3 sports competition took place.

Meanwhile, in the eastern sector of the district of Panama, specifically in the town of Tocumen, in front of the International Airport , the accumulation of waste was so large that it became a critical point. Therefore, the AAUD ordered to address the problem with machinery such as backhoes and dump trucks.

Earlier in the morning, a group of sanitation workers announced their rejection of a possible transfer of some of the staff to the Chepo district.

The workers assure that, for the moment, the garbage collection service in the capital city is carried out by companies contracted by the AAUD , but in an irregular manner.


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