Wednesday 15th March 2023.

March 15, 2023


The decision of Judge Baloisa Marquínez to convict Adolfo Chichi De Obarrio, former private secretary of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), was based on three aspects: the confession of his front men, the techniques used to hide the funds of the National Assistance Program (PAN) that were diverted to their bank accounts and the testimonies of the former directors of the PAN, Giacomo Tamburelli and Rafael Guardia Jaén.

The ruling released on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 13, 2023, records that the judge valued with special attention the statements that, under oath, Sergio González Ruiz, Jorge Espino and Juan Carlos Marciaga made, who accepted having served as a link between some businessmen and Chichi De Obarrio.

In the case of González Ruiz, former president of the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office verified that he was the person to whom De Obarrio delivered the illicit funds that, in turn, he had received from Marciaga.

González Ruiz admitted in a statement that he had realized he was laundering money to benefit De Obarrio.

Marciaga explained that De Obarrio himself provided him with the number of an account in the name (in the name of another person), so that he could deposit the money there.

According to the judge, it was proven that there were three schemes to launder money: the use of public limited companies for the purchase and sale of real estate; the use of financial intermediaries, and the use of collection accounts. One of the accounts used by De Obarrio to launder was that of Blue Apple.

The judge also valued the statements of former PAN directors Giacomo Tamburelli and Rafael Guardia Jaén.

Based on the statement of both former officials, the court was able to establish that De Obarrio had a situation of power that allowed him to issue orders to other public servants to determine how, when and in what way the movements of large sums of money should be made to hide that he was the final recipient.

The judge also determined as an aggravating factor the fact that it was a continuous crime, since it was repeated on multiple occasions over time.

The judge calculated that only in the construction projects of paid zones of Mi Bus and the sewerage project of Chitré, province of Herrera, an amount of $ 2.5 million that came from acts of corruption was handled.

The judge’s sentence can be appealed.

De Obarrio is not in Panama. He went since December 2014 to Italy, where he is a citizen, and has not been able to be handed over because Panama did not ratify the bilateral extradition agreement signed with that country.

The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice rejected an appeal against a decision of the Sixteenth Criminal Court that sentenced the former directors of the National Security Council Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz to 50 months in prison for the crime of illegal wiretapping.

In a ruling dated March 7, the court rejected an appeal filed by the defense of Garuz and Pérez, in which it was argued that their clients had no participation in the wiretapping carried out by officials of the National Security Council (CSN).

On January 3, 2019, the then sixteenth criminal judge, Enrique Pérez, sentenced the two former heads of the National Security Council to 50 months in prison as primary accomplices of the punctures executed between 2012 and 2014.

According to that ruling, Pérez and Garuz provided cooperation without which the criminal acts investigated could not have been carried out, so their direct and malicious participation was proven. The former agents of the CSN Ronny Rodríguez and William Pittí, indicated as material authors of the punctures, did not appear at this process and are fugitives.

In another case, the First Court Liquidator of Criminal Cases sentenced Pérez and the former director of the National Assistance Program (PAN), Giacomo Tamburelli, to 10 years in prison for the crime of embezzlement for the loss of equipment for wiretapping.

The ruling dated March 10 specifies that both former officials failed to comply with the duties as directors at the time and allowed economic damage to occur to the State in the amount of $ 10.8 million by virtue of the purchase of highly sensitive security equipment, in accordance with the audit carried out by the Comptroller General of the Nation.

The tragic accident in Gualaca, province of Chiriquí, which claimed the lives of 40 migrants traveling on bus 5B-54 from the province of Darién turns one month old tomorrow and there are still 11 unidentified bodies.

The information was provided by Superior Prosecutor Melisa Navarro, who explained that this March 15 is scheduled to begin solemn burials in municipal cemeteries of the city of David, to unidentified bodies or those that could not be claimed for not complying with the cremation process.

Navarro indicated that the recognition actions by the embassies are still maintained, with the verification through fingerprints and DNA tests to continue with the identification of the bodies.

In Darién, something is being observed that has not happened for four years: a large migratory flow of people, through the mighty Chucunaque River

The reports of the National Migration Service show that between January and February 2023, 49,291 migrants arrived in Darién, a number five times higher than in the same period of 2022, when there were 8,964.

At the moment, most of the walkers come from Haiti (16,744), Ecuador (11,555) and Venezuela (9,434). Of that total of migrants who have crossed Darien, a total of 32,314 are adults and 16,977 are minors.

The increase in the passage of migrants through Darién was warned last year by international organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration and even the Ombudsman’s Office.

The Transit and Land Transport Authority (ATTT), in conjunction with the Directorate of Traffic Operations of the National Police, carried out on Tuesday, March 14, simultaneous operations in four public transport terminals.

The verification of documents and security equipment in public transport took place in the terminals of Chiriquí, Veraguas, Herrera and Panama.

Carlos Ordóñez, director of the ATTT, reported that in the operation more than 20 temporary permits were withdrawn, granted to provide public transport service, after verifying that the expiration date of the insurance policy was not in accordance with the expiration date of the permit.

The ATTT reported that at the Herrera terminal (Chitré) eight buses were with expired transport plates and 10 sanctions were applied for failing to comply with security measures; These include inadequate lights, inadequate tires and expired fire extinguishers.

Likewise, a fine of one thousand dollars was placed, because a vehicle did not have the required operating certificate.

On the other hand, in Chiriquí at least 30 infractions were placed, mostly due to inadequate lights and 10 expired plates were removed.

Meanwhile, in Veraguas, 45 buses were inspected and six infractions were placed for carrying escort lights.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) begins this Thursday in Panama City its annual meeting – the first of its new president, Ilan Goldfajn – in which issues such as the climate crisis and sustainable development will be key.

The meeting will last four days and will be attended by economic and financial leaders, especially from Latin America and the Caribbean, but also from the rest of the countries that make up the development bank, which add up to a total of 48.

A series of meetings and seminars will address development challenges and opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean and address issues ranging from the impacts of the climate crisis to ensuring equitable and sustainable growth.

The event will take place at the Amador Convention Center and will be the 63rd edition of the Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors, which will be held simultaneously with the 37th edition of the Board of Governors of IDB Invest, the financial arm of the organization, which works with the region’s private sector.

The maritime industry worldwide is responsible for between 2.8% to 3% of carbon emissions worldwide, an approximate 980 million tons of CO2 each year, reaching in some cases more than one billion tons. This includes international, domestic and fishing shipping.

“If the maritime industry were a country, it would be the eighth with the highest emissions globally,” says Arsenio Domínguez, director of the marine environment division of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), who said there is a commitment to make this industry carbon neutral by 2050.

Dominguez was at the Annual Maritime Conference held last week in Panama and there he pointed out that this is a key moment of transition in which best practices and technologies for ships are being analyzed, and measures to encourage and support countries, including exploring new business models.

The IMO director said it is strategic for Panama to prepare in advance to reduce carbon emissions in the maritime industry.

“Panama must find a way to exploit and take advantage of the opportunities offered by this transition in the maritime industry, while forging the different agreements with sectors such as energy to provide that type of carbon-free fuels that will be used in maritime transport,” Dominguez recommended.

One of the nine pheasants that were stolen from the El Níspero zoo, located in El Valle de Antón, Coclé and that maintained a complaint for the crime against economic heritage, in the form of theft, was recovered this Sunday in the province of Veraguas.

The information was confirmed by the National Police, through its social networks, since it remained in the search for the birds, of which 7 are silver pheasants and 2 ringneck, young adults, which are valued at about $ 270, each.


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