Wednesday 14th September 2022.
September 14, 2022
This Tuesday, the second day of the preliminary hearing of the Odebrecht case began with the reading of the prosecutor’s hearing, before the court presided over by Judge Baloísa Marquínez . The day started at 9:13 am The day before, almost 80 pages of the document had been read, which contains the arguments of the anti-corruption prosecution to request trial for 50 people accused of allegedly committing the crime of money laundering. The act is broadcast live by the Judicial Branch. It should be remembered that the tax hearing consists of 810 pages (931, if the annexes are counted). Upon arrival at the court, the superior prosecutor Ruth Morcillo said that she hopes this week to finish this reading to start with the stage of the allegations. “The case is extremely strong. The Public Ministry has done a responsible job,” said Senior Prosecutor Mahmad Daud Hasan . He added that all the evidence is in the file, so he said he was sure that at the time the judge will call a trial. The Public Ministry requests that 51 people (50 natural and 1 legal) be prosecuted for the alleged commission of the crime against the economic order, in the form of money laundering, typified in Book II, Title VII, Chapter IV of the Penal Code , which establishes a sentence of 5 to 12 years in prison (articles 254 and 255) and 5 to 10 years (article 256). At noon, a recess was decreed in the preliminary hearing to continue with the reading of the tax hearing of the file, which at that time had been advanced to page 156. Morcillo said that during the development of the hearing act in the morning they could read how the companies were constituted in the different firms. She indicated that the stories of several investigated in this process were also beginning to be known. The hearing resumed at 2:00 pm, as scheduled.
A digital platform will be enabled by the Authority for Government Innovation (AIG) so that people can seek the availability, proximity and prices of medicines in private pharmacies. This was announced by the Presidency of the Republic, after the meeting of the technical table for Medicines, headed by Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo. It was announced that starting at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 13, people will be able to enter the Digital Panama portal and enter the MedicApp section to search for information. The administrator of the AIG, Luis Oliva, explained that this tool will allow the user to search nearby for information on each pharmacy and the cost of medicine. Similarly, it is highlighted that the platform was created by the AIG and the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco). The owners of pharmacies, through a user number, will be able to enter the platform to update the prices in their stores. Oliva reported that this Friday, September 16, a virtual training will be held for more than 1,300 pharmacies in the country, whose owners will be able to learn about the portal and its operation. “Between yesterday and today, the Pharmacy and Drugs Department will be sending an email with the username and password to enter the portal; if you do not receive this notification, you can contact this entity”, explained the director of the AIG.
The single dialogue table for Panama must meet again this Thursday, September 15, in another attempt by social organizations and the government to reach an agreement on item eight on the agenda and the start of the second phase. This Tuesday the Catholic Church, as facilitator, met with the leaders of the social alliances and representatives of the Executive to clarify some aspects of the steps to follow in the talks. After making progress on seven issues, the debate stalled on point eight, which is related to the formation of the intersectoral and follow-up table. In addition, there is also no agreement on the transition to the second phase with the participation of other actors. Francisco Blanco, from the facilitating team, explained that this Tuesday’s meeting consisted of clarifying some interpretations on the principles of the call by the Church and that it was established what they were; among them, that it be a single table and that a consensus agenda be drawn up between the parties. Likewise, in this meeting the clearest explanation on the two phases was presented by the Church, which was another of the points presented in the call. “In the first stage, the problem would be addressed in a conjunctural way and it would go on to the second phase where it would be addressed in a deeper way, to outline the path of transformation of the country, so that Panama is more just and equitable,” Blanco said after the meeting. For their part, the spokespersons for the social organizations stated that they will be meeting to present a position this Thursday when the Penonomé dialogue resumes. However, they warned that they would not be in a second phase after the lawsuits that have been filed in the Supreme Court of Justice against the agreements of the first phase. In addition, that the private company does not recognize the alliances. Omar Montilla, one of the representatives of the Executive at the meeting, said that this Thursday they will find a way to complete the first phase and then move on to the second stage with the issues on disagreement and follow up on the agreed issues. The Executive proposed at the time to convene by decree the second phase and that in that instance define the methodology and the issues to be discussed. Meanwhile, the social groups maintain that it should be allowed to broaden the topics to find a solution to the crisis resulting from the protests last July, which caused the emergence of the table. Since mid-July, with the facilitation of the Church, the alliances and the Executive have been meeting at the Cristo Sembrador Center in Penonomé, Coclé, until reaching point eight. The meeting on Tuesday, headed by the Archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa, was held at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Panama.
The Panama Canal announced this Tuesday that there was an overflow on the west lane of the Gatun locks, in the Panamanian Atlantic. In a statement, the waterway indicated, at about 9:30 am, that the corrective measures would be carried out to resume service in the west lane, while the east lane was still operational. It was around 10:42 am that the Canal reported the resumption of traffic through the west lane of the Gatun locks. In other words, this lane was inoperative for approximately one hour and 15 minutes. The institution specified that a team of specialists is investigating the causes of this event. Sources linked to the operation of the Canal consulted by La Prensa said that “that happens when you are not aware of the operation.” These structures, which have been operating since 1914, do not have automatic operation and are carried out by an operator, although these locks have level indicators to guide them. Another source said that “normally when this happens, which is infrequently, it results from a human error in the operation of the valves for filling and emptying the chambers, although there is also a mechanical problem.” It is important, said the source, that so that mistakes are not made, staff are being trained daily, reviewing safety rules and procedures. La Prensa requested more details of what happened to the Panama Canal Authority, but it was reiterated that this is under investigation.
After more than 15 years, since the idea of the electrical interconnection between Panama and Colombia arose, the project is finally beginning to take shape. After a series of preliminary technical studies, both countries managed to define the route and the environmental corridor through which the power line will pass, which will allow a regional exchange of energy. The project represents an investment of nearly $500 million, in charge of the Colombian ISA and the Panamanian Electric Transmission Companies, SA (Etesa). It consists of an electrical transmission line from the Cerromatoso substation, in the department of Córdoba, in Colombia; to the Panama II substation, in the province of Panama. The route has an extension of 500 kilometers and will be divided into three sections: the first land section on the Panama side with 220 kilometers; a second section of 130 kilometers, which will be through a submarine cable; and the third land section on the Colombian side, with 150 kilometers.
Did you know that the consumption of chocolate can be beneficial for your health? According to scientific studies, this product can lower cholesterol levels, prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, among other things. Added to this, there is no doubt that this product is one of the favorites by a large number of people, whether as an appetizer, dessert or simply a good gift for different special occasions. As International Chocolate Day (yesterday) is celebrated worldwide this September 13 , we talked with different connoisseurs about this delicious product in the country. To begin with, it should be mentioned that the cocoa-producing areas in the country are concentrated in Bocas del Toro and the Ngäbe-Buglé region. Proyecto Cacao emerged in November 2019, just before the covid-19 pandemic was declared, as a result of an exploration trip made by Diego Fernández and his current partner Ariel Suaya precisely to Bocas. “On that trip we began to understand what cocoa means and how we could manage to link what is there with what we want there to be in terms of quality,” says Fernández, who studied political science, but has always had that passion “for chocolate and food.