Tuesday 7th March 2023.

March 7, 2023


Prosecutor Jorge Ferguson, from the trial section of the Metropolitan Homicide and Femicide Prosecutor’s Office, began the presentation of the theory of the case and the exhibition of documentary and testimonial evidence in the oral trial for the explosion -occurred in May 2019- of an apartment located on floor No. 2 of tower 7 of PH Costa Mare, located in Costa Sur, township of Don Bosco, an event in which a 10-month-old baby died and other people were injured.

The process is followed by three people for the alleged commission of the crime of manslaughter and personal injury.

During the trial, which began at 9:30 am on Monday, the prosecution began the presentation of the theory of the case on the alleged responsibility of those involved in the verification of the gas outlets in the apartment. The first witnesses were also present.

Prosecutor Ferguson stated that the prosecution has a plurality of evidence that it will present before the trial court, among which are witnesses and experts to reinforce its theory of the case.

For his part, the plaintiff lawyer, Eduardo Guevara, stated that in this case there is clear negligence on the part of the company that manages the PH Costa Mare.

Guevara said that there was a clear breach of their duties by the people who worked in the administration of the building and that they caused serious harm to the residents of PH Costa Mare.

In the explosion that occurred in 2019, the child Marcelo Muñoz Lima died, while his mother Karina Lima and his brother Miguel Ignacio Muñoz suffered serious burns.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the traffic accident that occurred at dawn on Sunday, March 5, on Domingo Díaz avenue, will be provisionally detained.

This was reported this Monday, March 6, by the Public Ministry on its Twitter account, which indicated that this citizen, approximately 22 years old, is being investigated for the alleged commission of the crime of aggravated manslaughter.

In this traffic accident registered in front of the Metromall shopping center, a 30-year-old woman and her seven-year-old daughter died. Another minor survived.

Deputy Commissioner Luis Hernández, of the National Traffic Operations Directorate, said that the driver involved in the incident tested positive for 54% alcohol.

The San Miguelito Primary Care Section is in charge of the investigations.

The First Specialized Prosecutor for Drug-Related Crimes announced that all the people apprehended in Operation Scorpion were charged with the alleged commission of the crime of assembly and conspiracy to commit drug-related crimes.

This operation took place last Tuesday, February 28, and in which 33 people allegedly engaged in conspiring to commit drug-related crimes were apprehended.

After five days of hearing multiple requests, the Public Ministry reported that 11 sentences were validated through sentence agreements (between 60 and 100 months in prison) and provisional detention was imposed for 20 people.

Likewise, a house arrest and a periodic notification with an impediment to leave the country were ordered, measures that were appealed by the First Specialized Prosecutor for Drug-Related Crimes.

At the hearing, the apprehensions of the 33 people in the development of the Scorpion operation that was carried out in the provinces of Panama, Panama West, Darién and Chiriquí were legalized.

Operation “Escorpion” has its genesis on January 20, 2022, with the beginning of the investigation of a network linked to drug trafficking, which received drugs from Colombia on the beaches of Chame and Coronado, to transport them in double-bottom vehicles. to San Miguelito and then take it overland to the United States.

The promotion of the Panamanian maritime and logistics industry, whose contribution exceeds 30% of the country’s gross domestic product including the activities of the Panama Canal, and generates around 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, would be affected by the loss of competitiveness.

This was warned by the president of the Panama Maritime Chamber, Enrique Clément, on the eve of the Annual Maritime Conference starting today, Tuesday, March 7.

The excessive bureaucratic procedures, migration costs for ship crews, strikes and road closures, among other factors, are attacking strategic activities within the logistics and maritime chain, specifically the auxiliary maritime industry and cargo transshipment.

Day-to-day auxiliary maritime companies become a blind challenge, not knowing what restriction or new regulation they are going to face to operate in the country.

“Panama was attractive for crew changes, a business that not only brings benefits to maritime agencies, but also economically permeates hotels, restaurants, taxis, shops, among other activities. We have been losing this business little by little, as a result of bureaucracy and cost overruns related to immigration issues that have not been able to be addressed with the priority and importance that is required of the corresponding government authorities, being specific the National Immigration Service,” warned. Clement.

He also added that the pace of port activity and the movement of containers that in 2022 registered a slight drop, going from 8.6 million TEUs (unit equivalent to a 20-foot long container) in 2021 to 8.5 million TEUs, it will continue slow.

“In 2023 we have to continue to be very conservative with the projections and pay attention to the global economic environment.” he stated.

Clément indicated that Panama will always be an option as a route for the transshipment of maritime cargo for the Central American region by land, but he is concerned that the little that can be mobilized could vanish due to internal issues such as strikes, street closures and the cost overruns that creates bureaucracy.

“The Caribbean has several transshipment hubs that serve as an option whenever these situations occur in Panama,” he said, alluding to the fact that the country is not alone in the region.

Clément said that it is vital to remember that it is the cargo ships that have allowed Panama to have a full range of services for these ships that transit the Canal or use the ports.

“We are all in the package, the private sector, the Canal and the Government. Where one of these three elements does not walk hand in hand, we lose as a country.”

On the other hand, the opportunity to attract business under the nearshoring modality , in order to have business operations and goods supply activities close to the main consumer markets such as the United States, is being taken advantage of and capitalized on by other markets such as Costa Rica.

“Neighboring countries like Costa Rica have been able to take advantage of this issue, the operating costs they have are lower than those that would be paid in Panama.”

Another challenge on the industry’s list is to speed up the internal maritime cabotage service with greater investments and facilities by local banks to have better ships for this service.

“Our exports urgently require the country to have maritime cabotage. We must be able to connect our vertical logistics axis with those of horizontal production through maritime cabotage. The West needs an outlet to the sea”.

The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC ) did not carry out the Labor Market Survey (EML) corresponding to August 2022, and official figures on the employment situation will not be known until October 30, 2023, when said agency publishes the information. August 2023.

However, we know that in 2022, the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel) processed 240,954 new labor contracts (about 20,000 per month, 82% temporary), in contrast to the 378,495 processed by the entity in 2019 (32 approximately, 79% temporary), while the economy generated more than 10,000 new informal workers per month (INEC), compared to 3,079 per month in 2019.

We are creating 36% fewer formal jobs and more than three times as many informal jobs as in the pre-pandemic year.

Of every 100 new jobs generated by the economy, 60 are informal, 10 civil servants, 24 are temporary private jobs and 6 are permanent.

The issue of eliminating the use of masks on public transport is analyzed by the public health team.

This was announced by the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, yesterday.

The official reiterated that the mandatory use of masks remains so far on public transport and in health facilities. However, he acknowledged that respiratory diseases, including covid-19, have decreased significantly. He explained that 128 cases of covid-19 were reported throughout the country yesterday and that the important thing “is that everyone understands that we must practice self-care.”

Sucre specified that he will wait between this week and the next for the recommendation of the public health team in order to make it known to the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, and thus make a final decision.


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