Wednesday 15th February 2023.

February 15, 2023

The Inter-American Press Association (SIP) denounced the continuous abuse of defamation lawsuits against Panamanian media and journalists and the preventive seizure of their assets, as mechanisms of intimidation and gags to silence critical voices and independent journalism.

The IAPA supported the recent expressions of its regional vice presidency in Panama, the National Association of Journalists (CNP), the Forum of Journalists, the Panamanian Broadcasting Association and accredited embassies in Panama (such as the United States, Canada and the Netherlands). , about the legal harassment against Mauricio Valenzuela and Annette Planells , journalist and co-founder of the information portal Foco .

On February 8, without yet being sentenced, Judge Ana Isabel Terán, of the Sixth Civil Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama, ordered the seizure of their assets and properties after a lawsuit for slander and libel promoted by the former Panamanian president. Ricardo Martinelli.

The Panamanian judicial system allows a plaintiff to request the seizure of the defendant’s assets at the beginning of the judicial process. This is not the first time this has happened in the country.

In 2020, a judge ordered the seizure of the assets of the newspaper La Prensa , following a lawsuit by former president Ernesto Pérez Balladares (1994-1999), in a process that is in the first instance, which is ongoing and in which there has been no sentence against the publishing company.

The Chapultepec Index of the SIP 2021-2022 indicates that the statistics of the Public Ministry of Panama “reveal that there are 586 open files for crimes against honor. Of these, 81 involve social media.”

In the civil jurisdiction, “40 procedures are in process against communicators and social communication companies, with demands that exceed the claim of 13 million dollars.”

The president of the IAPA, American Michael Greenspon, reiterated that “judicial harassment in Panama continues to be the main threat against press freedom.”

The European Union (EU) included on Tuesday Russia, Costa Rica, the British Virgin Islands and the Marshall Islands to its list of jurisdictions that do not cooperate in tax matters with the community block, according to the Council of the EU in a statement.

Following the decision, approved by the Ministers of Economy and Finance, the list includes 16 territories in addition to the four added today: Panama, American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa, the American Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which were already there.

The list, which is updated every six months, includes those jurisdictions that fail to comply with EU standards in terms of tax transparency, tax justice or implementation of international standards to prevent erosion of the tax base or profit shifting, and that In addition, they do not take steps to tackle these problems.

The Cabinet Council approved this Tuesday, February 14, to extend until April 1, 2023 the measure that sets the price of fuel at $3.25 per gallon.

The benefit, initially approved in July 2022 as part of the agreements of the single dialogue table, was in force until this Wednesday, February 15, and is now extended for 44 days.

The Tocumen International Airport expects to mobilize 117,000 people in the carnival season that began on February 12 and will last until February 27.

According to data provided by the Passenger Experience Management, it is estimated that 59,256 passengers will enter the country, while it is projected that 57,977 people will leave the main air terminal to different destinations in North America, South America, and the Caribbean.

The days of greatest passenger departure traffic began on February 13 and the largest influx of passengers is expected on February 17 and 18, while the arrival of the largest number of visitors began on February 12 and will continue on 21 and 22

Twenty-four hours have passed since the fire extinguishing work began that occurred at the Cerro Patacón sanitary landfill. In the last hours, more than 200 firefighters have participated in the task.

The emergency has caused a large amount of toxic smoke that covers various parts of Panama City.

As a result of this, it has been recommended to the population that, if they have respiratory problems, they immediately go to the nearest health facility for proper primary care.

In this sense, Israel Cedeño, metropolitan regional director of Health, explained that, so far, very few cases have been treated in the health facilities of the region of people affected by the smoke from the fire. He commented that this morning he received a report of a case treated at the Paraíso Health Center due to smoke. Similarly, on Monday, three children and an adult residing in Curundú – who were out for a walk in the San Miguelito area – were treated for this same situation in the emergency room of the San Miguel Arcángel hospital.

The Panama Fire Department has also issued a series of recommendations, such as keeping the doors and windows of homes and offices closed, using the air conditioner in recirculation mode. People were urged to avoid traveling to smoke-affected areas and, if they do, wear clothing that covers the skin. For his part, Ángel Delgado, director of related calamities for firefighters, said that due coordination is being made with Urbalia, administrator of the Cerro Patacón sanitary landfill, to have the necessary equipment to put out this fire more quickly.

A report from the Panama Fire Department confirmed that the explosion that occurred at PH Urbana on November 1, 2022 was caused by an accumulation of gas registered in a 12C-2 apartment stove.

This was detailed by Abdiel Solís, director of the fire department, who explained that the strong shock wave of the explosion was due to the fact that the stove located in apartment 12C-2 acted as a gas reservoir that contributed to magnifying its force, which produced vectors of force in different directions.

Solís also explained that it was ruled out that the gas pipes in apartment 14C-2 were related to the explosion registered that day.

Panamanian Black Jaguar coffee beans traveled more than 14,259 kilometers to be served in a cafeteria in the city of Melbourne in Australia, at a cost of 140 dollars per cup, selling a total of 22 cups.

This coffee produced on the Guarumo Coffee farm, in the province of Chiriquí, is of the Geisha variety grown at an altitude of 1,750 meters above sea level.

Tessie de Hartmann, co-owner of the Guarumo Coffee farm, considers that the entire process to obtain the quality of the “Black Jaguar” bean is an art, because there are many factors that come together to meet the expectations of the most demanding customers, such as the weather and grain selection, among others.

More articles