Tuesday 4th April 2023.

April 3, 2023


With flags in hand, hundreds of supporters gathered at noon on Monday at the Cambio Democrático (CD) headquarters to accompany Rómulo Roux in his candidacy as a presidential candidate, ahead of the primaries to be held on July 9.

Roux, president of CD, is the second member of that group to run for that position. Last Sunday Olmedo Guillén did it, who is backed by the “United We Will Win Movement”. The politician and former legislator assures that he does not agree with any of the currents that support Roux or the deputy Yanibel Ábrego.

Ábrego, current CD secretary and who is waging a battle against Roux for control of the party, would be running today. CD began the application period for the different positions of popular election last Thursday and ends next Saturday, April 8.

Meanwhile, Roux emphasized that “we want our party to govern by doing things right and recognizing that deep changes must be made. That was the message we sent on March 19 and we are going to send it again on July 9,” he said.

He added that his presidential project seeks to generate opportunities, hope and that he understands that the country is in danger.

“I invite, not only the members of my party, but all of Panama, to unite; that together we make the effort and make a great force to save and rescue our country, to change this corrupt political system, which has already collapsed and which has the country in the grip of poverty”.

A lawsuit of unconstitutionality against Law 376 of March 31, 2023 that allows the representatives of the corregimiento and mayors to choose what salary they want to receive if at the time of being elected they already had a public position was presented this Monday before the Supreme Court of Justice by the lawyer Ernesto Cedeño.

The lawsuit states that articles 1 and 2 of Law 376 directly violate article 19 of the Constitution, because it establishes a legal distinction in favor of only one type of citizen, those who belong to local governments.

The resource indicates that article 1 of the aforementioned norm allows those mayors and representatives, who at the time of their election already have a public position, choose which of the two salaries they want to receive: the one that corresponds to them in the local government or the one that they charge as a server in some entity, which implies favorable treatment for this group of people, to the detriment of others.

It also states that in a ruling dated July 5, 2012, the Supreme Court of Justice stated that there will be no privileges or discrimination based on race, birth, disability, social class, sex, religion or political ideas and that the State has the obligation to eliminate discriminatory treatment that exists between groups that are at an advantage, and those that, due to a certain circumstance, are in a disadvantageous situation.

This Law was sanctioned by President Lauretino Cortizo on March 31.

After the closure of the Arraiján – La Chorrera Highway for more than 10 hours this Sunday, the residents of the La Arboleda neighborhood and surrounding areas in La Chorrera (West Panama), met with the director of the Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan), Juan Antonio Ducruet, to find a way out of the lack of drinking water in this sector.

The residents decided last night to reopen the road with the commitment to meet this Monday with the authorities, after having achieved the suspension of the sectorization program of the drinking water supply in that region.

In the midst of a tense climate, Ducruet began by explaining the reason why this area of ​​the country does not have the drinking water service it needs. According to the director, “the population for the same water treatment plants in Las Mendozas and El Trapichito doubled and that has led to part of the collapse of the service. That is why the 19 neighborhoods suffer so much”. the manager stated.

As solutions, Ducruet affirmed that a new water treatment plant is under construction in order to contribute to the normal service of drinking water in the area.

“Under no circumstances are we going to try to take water from someone to give it to another, the supply sectorization plan is suspended. I want us to listen and understand the reasons, ”he pointed out.

“I have to apologize for the communication that was given for the water sectorization plan that was announced last week. The concept was for ten days, but it was like an experiment. We don’t have the production we need. The idea of ​​the plan was that when people go to work they would not be affected by the lack of water, and thus we would return it to them at night”.

As Ducruet tried to elaborate, area residents began to demand solutions to their problems and fewer explanations.

“We want our water not to be cut off because the Idaan should have had a network for 20 years and you [hacia Ducruet] were director of former president Martín Torrijos and remember that in the government of former president Juan Carlos Varela you said that it could be done ”, replied one of the residents.

The governor of Panama Oeste, Sindy Smith, is also present at the meeting.

The National Assembly (AN) finished sealing the pact of silence with which the Executive and the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) managed to keep hidden public information related to economic aid granted by the National Institute for the Training and Use of Resources Humans (Ifarhu) : the list of beneficiaries will be kept secret.

Bill 977, approved in the first debate by the Education, Culture and Sports Commission on March 29 to “eliminate discretion in the delivery” of these resources, did not include the duty to make the use of public funds transparent. During the administration of President Laurentino Cortizo, the “financial aid” that amounted to almost $75 million, was managed in total secrecy and was the focus of complaints for discretion and influence peddling.

The initiative reforms Law 1 of 1965 that created Ifarhu, arose last March in response to media complaints about beneficiaries close to the government party -for example, the daughter, employees and nephew of the deputy Zulay Rodríguez or the son of Roberto Ábrego, among others- and obliges to demonstrate, through a socioeconomic study, that the family income of officials who aspire to the aid is less than $100,000 per year, but obviates transparency.

The deputies resisted incorporating articles on the obligation to inform or the public nature of the data, requested by the member of the independent bench, Gabriel Silva.

In this way, the AN join’s the institution itself, which denied La Prensa the information on two occasions, and the CSJ, which rejected a writ of habeas data through a ruling to order transparency of the procedure and its beneficiaries. Citizens, therefore, will continue without knowing how everyone’s resources are administered.

The Colon Free Zone (ZLC) recorded a year-on-year growth of 41.5% during the first two months of the year, totaling 4,872 million dollars, exceeding 3,443 dollars in 2022 and 2,433 million dollars of 2021.

The figure for the first two months exceeds the 2 thousand 846 million dollars registered in 2019.

Continental China, the European Union, Singapore, the United States, Mexico, Hong Kong and Vietnam are the main suppliers of the companies that operate in the ZLC, accounting for 71% of imports.

While Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, the United States and Honduras top the list of destinations that receive the most cargo from the free zone in the province of Colón.

The sale of electronic products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, perfumery and cosmetics, clothing in general, common metals and alcoholic beverages remain among the main drivers of growth in the free zone.

Re-exports between January and February totaled 2.818 billion dollars, while imports reached 2.53 billion dollars.

Infrastructure problems in the perimeter, failures in the drainage and water supply system, and deficiencies in security systems are the main complaints from businessmen.

The lack of a reliable water supply system that allows fires to be stopped quickly causes the policies and premiums that are applied to companies in the free zone to be higher compared to other commercial areas.

Police authorities confiscated at least 200 sharp objects recently at the Nueva Esperanza Penitentiary Complex, Colón province.

The National Police reported that through “Operation Armageddon” they seized 220 sharp objects, including 559 knives. In addition, 146 cell phones among other prohibited items inside prisons.

In the same way, it is detailed that they confiscated 9 digital scales, 50 doses of illegal substances, household appliances, 165 charger heads, 138 USB cables, 86 headphones, 23 lighters, 14 USB memory sticks, 10 cell phone batteries, a laptop and a tablet. Likewise, indications were found for the home preparation of drugs.

It was reported that, in coordination with the Penitentiary System, security and surveillance operations are intensifying in the vicinity of the penitentiary center to prevent illegal actions.



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