Wednesday 13th March 2024.

March 12, 2024


José Gabriel Gaby Carrizo , of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , is the candidate who arouses the most rejection in the electorate: 63.5% of the 1,200 surveyed face to face by the company Mercadeo Planificado, SA between February 27 and 4 March he answered that he would “never” vote for him.

This antipathy for Carrizo is not new, although it has grown significantly: in the previous survey, administered between January 26 and February 2, 51.9% of those surveyed rejected the idea of ​​voting for the PRD candidate.

Rejection of Rodríguez’s candidacy has also grown a little: in January it was 10.7% and in February, 13%.

On the other hand, there is a decrease in the number of respondents who have said that they would never vote for Martín Torrijos (nominated by the Popular Party), José Raúl Mulino (from Realando Metas y Alianza), Rómulo Roux (from Cambio Democrático and the Panameñista) , Ricardo Lombana (Movimiento Otro Camino or Moca) and the candidates for free nomination Maribel Gordón and Melitón Arrocha.

When broken down by age range, young people between 18 and 25 years of age are those who show the greatest rejection of Carrizo: 70.4%. He is also not very well-liked in Coclé, where he grew up and his family lives: 76.7% of the voters in that province responded to Mercadeo Planificado, SA that they will never vote for him. Only in Colón (77.4%) is it more rejected than in Coclé.

Although the percentage of voters who responded that they will not vote for her has grown, the rejection of Rodríguez is still lower than that of other candidates. Torrijos obtained 16.3% rejection; Mulino, 12.7%; Roux, 11.8%; Gordon, 11.1%; Lombana, 10.4%, and Arrocha, 7.4%. In this way, Arrocha emerges as the candidate who arouses the least antipathy among voters.

The margin of error for the survey is 2.8%.

The former director of the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu) , Bernardo Meneses , reappeared on the afternoon of this Tuesday, March 12, at the Electoral Court (TE) and reported that he renounced electoral jurisdiction.

“I renounce this jurisdiction so that the Public Ministry, based on the investigations they carry out on the issue of economic aid, can carry out all the corresponding procedures,” he assured.

He indicated that “we have nothing to hide” and is at the disposal of the authorities.

He maintained that even the Transparency and Access to Information Authority (Antai) demonstrated that no irregularity was recorded in the granting of financial aid.

Meneses, candidate for deputy of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in Arraiján, is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office for the distribution of economic aid during his administration between July 2019 and February 2023.

Some of those who benefited from these financial aid are Fernando Broce, Panamanian instagrammer and nephew of Congressman Eric Broce ($147 thousand); Jorge Jaén Ruiz, son of the Minister Counselor of Health, Eyra Ruiz ($180 thousand); Ana Cristina Díaz Zapata, daughter of the Minister of Labor, Doris Zapata (18,194); Diego Abrego Díaz, son of deputy Roberto Ábrego ($190 thousand); Paola Testa Rodríguez, daughter of deputy Zula Rodríguez ($61 thousand).

Also on that list is María Alejandra Panay, daughter of the current secretary general of the National Assembly, Quibián Panay, and who this week took office as vice minister of the Ministry of Women.

Meneses granted two financial aid to María Alejandra, which totaled $81,730. The first was $59,230, which was endorsed by the Comptroller General of the Republic in October 2021. The second reached $22,500 and received the approval of the comptroller Gerardo Solís, in February 2022.

Authorities from the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI) of Panama received on March 8 an invitation from the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI) to meet in Washington for a week.

The invitation was addressed to the head of the DGI, Publio de Gracia, who has already been invited before by this same division of the IRS in December of last year.

On that occasion, De Gracia met with the head of this division, James Lee, to address issues related to the investigations they are carrying out jointly on possible tax crimes.

“In order to follow up on our bilateral fight against tax crimes, the office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, with the support of the United States Embassy in the Republic of Panama, is pleased to invite you, Director General of Revenue of the Republic of Panama and distinguished representatives of the General Directorate of Revenue, to meet with representatives of IRS-CI the week of March 18 to 22, 2024,” indicates the letter, which is signed by Roberto Acuña, IRS-CI regional attaché.

These would be follow-up meetings to those that were held in mid-December last year, when the regional criminal investigation attaché of the IRS of the United States Embassy in Panama, Roberto Acuña, in which De Gracia and the advisor of the DGI Ricardo Solís, to “coordinate investigations into tax crimes focusing on future opportunities for cooperation.”

The DGI is currently carrying out several high-profile tax investigations in which the United States counterpart has shown interest.

The residents of PH Crystal, in Bella Vista, went to the Municipal Council of Panama this Tuesday, March 12 , where they cried out for help and explained the problems they have faced in their building for a decade.

Years ago, on level 15 of this PH, owned by the company Josephco, SA ., a penthouse was built , which caused leaks and cracks in the slab of several apartments. The worst part was taken by the floor where Kathleen McGrath resides, on level 14.

One of the first to speak was Anabel Franco , who stressed that during the rainy season water enters through the roof of the property, which deteriorates the building.

“The situation is critical and the water is coming down the elevators. There are 28 families affected for 10 years,” said Franco.

In McGrath’s case, she has had to move out of her apartment. In fact, McGrath also spoke before the councilors of the district of Panama and claimed that the Municipality of Panama had not complied with the demolition order.

In a report prepared on January 19, 2023, the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) indicated that, if security measures are not taken, there is a risk of “material damage” being recorded and, in the worst case , the “loss of human lives.”

In 2021, the Administration Attorney, Rigoberto González , sent a note to Mayor José Luis Fábrega, in which he reiterated his concern regarding the serious impact that persists on the people who live in the aforementioned property.

“Therefore, we urge that the execution of what was ordered in resolution No. 253-SLT-2014 of September 2014 [demolition order] of the Mayor’s Office of Panama be made effective, without further delay,” the note concludes.

The permanent work on the construction project of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal began today, March 12, 2024, in the Farfán Industrial Complex, in the Panama Oeste sector, with an investment of $1,372,165,000.61.

The work begins with the construction of gravel columns to improve the soil; it is estimated that there will be a total of 120 kilometers of columns, which start on the west side of the Panama Canal. For these tasks they use a piling machine, reported Rafael Sabonge, Minister of Public Works . The construction works, according to the contract, must be ready in 54 months, that is, 4 years and five months.

The Panama Canal reported this Monday that starting this month it will increase daily ship transits through the interoceanic waterway from 24 to 27, the only one in the world that uses fresh water and which is affected by a severe drought derived from the El Niño phenomenon. a measure that will remain in place until further notice.

In a statement, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) indicated that “two additional slots will be offered by auction for transit dates scheduled from March 18, and one additional slot will be available for transits scheduled from March 25. March”.

He added that this new adjustment will be applied in order to “accommodate the growing demand for transits, by increasing the number of daily slots available in the Panamax locks,” operational since 1914 and through which Panamax ships pass through.

The entity explained that the increase in traffic occurs “in response to the current and projected level of Gatun Lake,” the main supplier of water to the highway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

”Panama Canal specialists closely monitor the current lake level situation, and the measures announced today (…) will remain in force until conditions warrant changes,” he revealed.

In the current scenario, the daily transits are 24 ships, of which seven neopanamax ships that cross the expansion inaugurated in June 2016, and 17 panamax ships; and from March 18-25, the neopanamax vessels remain at seven and the panamax vessels increase to 20. Under optimal conditions, the average is between 35 and 36 vessels.


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