Tuesday 8th February 2022.
February 8, 2022
Covid-19 cases continue to decline in the country. For this Monday, February 7, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that 1,614 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. According to the ministry report, 8,099 tests were applied for a positivity of 19.9%. Meanwhile, in the last few hours, 13 deaths have been reported and three from previous dates have been updated for a total of 7,860 deaths and a lethality of 1.1%. Active cases dropped to 36,499, of which 35,843 are in home isolation and 656 hospitalized. According to the Minsa, 35,690 are at home and 153 in hotels: 577 are hospitalized in the ward and 79 in intensive care units.
From Monday, February 7 to February 24, all transitory festive activities are temporarily suspended in the district of Las Tablas, of the province of Los Santos. This was established in Mayoral Decree No. 10 of January 31, which bears the signature of the mayor of the district of Las Tablas, Ángel Barrios Barahona , which clarifies that festive activities will be suspended, which require authorization. issued by the Ministry of Health and the permits issued by the Mayor’s Office of Las Tablas.
The Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) detailed that since last October 2020, a total of 2,295 positive passengers with the new coronavirus have been detected at the Tocumen International Airport. According to the Minsa, this is one of the control points that exist in the country to avoid contagion with Covid-19. In addition, this Sunday, February 6, 8 positive passengers for Covid-19 were detected, to whom the protocols established by the Panamanian health authorities were immediately applied.
The United States government informed a New York court that it completed the process of confiscating money from the accounts belonging to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares , who pleaded guilty to using the United States financial system to launder the bribes that the company Brazilian Odebrecht paid to benefit “a high-ranking Panamanian government official” between 2009 and 2014. The receipt from the United States Marshals Service informs that the deposit of check #011648 from International Finance Bank, for an amount of $697,458.75, was made in the Seized Property Deposit Fund (SADF) account). Last December, in separate hearings, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique admitted to District Judge Raymond J. Dearie that they had established secret bank accounts in the name of shell companies in foreign countries and in the United States to launder nearly $28 million in bribes. they received from Odebrecht, during the government of Martinelli Berrocal. According to court documents, the New York Eastern District Attorney’s Office maintains that “Ricardo and Luis Martinelli Linares played integral roles in the corrupt scheme to funnel bribes from Odebrecht to a high-ranking Panamanian government official.” In Panama, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office asks to prosecute Martinelli Berrocal and his two sons for Odebrecht bribes. The preliminary hearing should start on July 18.
The Court of Appeals revoked on the afternoon of this Monday, February 7, the precautionary measure of home deposit to Teresina Vigil, sister of the Panamanian deputy Elías Vigil, who is being investigated for her alleged link to a criminal network led by Carlos Roberto Aguilar (alias Robert) . The network allegedly led by alias Robert was dismantled by the judicial authorities through the “Damasco” operation. After the revocation, the Court ordered the provisional arrest of Vigil, who was apprehended on the night of December 20, 2021 at the Tocumen International Airport.
Even though the justice system is governed by the rules of the accusatory penal system, theoretically more agile, and even though the delay has decreased since 2019, the backlog in the processing of files continues to be one of the main problems of the system, according to with experts in the field. In fact, at least 66 thousand 144 files are in process and it is the civil jurisdiction in which there is the greatest delay, with 32 thousand 681 cases. Trial lawyers such as Orlando Castillo question the fact that civil proceedings take “absurdly, up to 15 years or more.”
In the last 72 hours, some 551 people have been apprehended, nationwide, for various crimes through “Operation Genesis 2022”. Of this total of apprehended, 276 are by Oficio, 203 (administrative offenses), 52 (flagrant), 18 (microtrafficking) and two for drug trafficking. Also in these last 72 hours, a total of 73 raids were carried out, resulting in the seizure of 15 firearms, 207 rounds of ammunition, $619.95 in cash, 6 recovered vehicles, 10 packages with drugs and illicit substances.
Officials from the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) recalled this Monday, February 7, that backpacks, sneakers, shoes, straps, erasers and pens “have a price cap so that they do not pay 7%” . Therefore, shoes with a value greater than 40 dollars, sneakers and backpacks whose cost is greater than 30 dollars, erasers (greater than 2 dollars), pens (above 1 dollar), straps that exceed 15 dollars, they do have to pay 7% tax. Acodeco also emphasized that school supplies and articles “are exempt from payment of the ITBMS or 7%” throughout the year.