Wednesday 17th January 2024.

January 16, 2024



In the economic forum “Vision 2024” , organized by La Prensa , the vice president and presidential candidate of the PRD, José Gabriel Carrizo, addressed various topics, among them, he revived the controversial mining contract and spoke about the appointment of the Attorney General and the corruption.

Asked about his alternatives to replace mining activity, Carrizo stated that, if he wins the Presidency in the next elections, he will hold a public consultation to determine whether or not the population wishes to “nationalize” the mine.

He thinks that the mine could “generate economic development alternatives” for the country, but that “there was no adequate explanation, since the fact that it is an existing company with a mine in the area was not addressed,” although by when The new contract was negotiated, the mining company did not have a contract with the Panamanian State.

According to the vice president, “corruption is such a broad issue… Anyone who says here that they will end corruption is lying. “We must fight corruption here,” he highlighted. He insisted that his government has combated corruption by appointing six judges to the Supreme Court of Justice.

The candidate for president of the republic for the alliance made up of the Democratic Change (CD) and Panameñista parties, Rómulo Roux , highlighted the urgent need to eliminate the privileges of the political class and stressed that his government proposal involves regaining the trust of citizenship and private investment.

At the Vision 2024 forum , organized by La Prensa, Roux pointed out that to regain the trust of the population we must cut state expenses, put an end to bottles, reduce the budget of the National Assembly and eliminate parallel decentralization, which is is using it to make politics.

“We are going to eliminate the privileges of the political class. The Assembly’s budget is absurd and is made to steal. We have carried out studies and no more than $50 million is required for its operation,” he pointed out.

The candidate for president of the republic for the Other Path Movement (MOCA), Ricardo Lombana, made several clear points about what the appointments will be like to reach the Palacio de Las Garzas if he wins the elections on May 5 of this year.

Lombana, who participated in the Vision 2024 forum , organized by La Prensa, stressed that in his government the appointments will be based on merit and his campaign donors will not appoint ministers. “Don’t expect to see my relatives in ministerial positions,” he pointed out.

He also referred to the role that his running mate, Michael Chen , will play within his government group. “Since Michael Chen accepted to be my vice president, it was clear between him and me that I was not going to be a vase, much less a Chinese vase in Government. We have not yet talked about whether he will be in charge of a particular portfolio, but he will surely play a very important role,” he noted.

The former president of the Republic Martín Torrijos (2004-2009) and presidential candidate for the May 5, 2024 elections for the Popular Party, assured that the state payroll “is full of bottles.”

Torrijos, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), offered these statements upon his arrival at the Vision 2024 forum, organized by La Prensa this Tuesday, January 16 at the Sheraton hotel. He regretted that this is a practice within his party. “The Assembly shamefully has more officials than the Panama Canal. How do you explain that? That is simply corruption,” he declared.

Torrijos arrived at the forum accompanied by engineer Alberto Alemán Zubieta, administrator of the Panama Canal between 1996 and 2012, by his candidate for the vice presidency of the Republic Rosario Turner, former Minister of Health during the current administration of Laurentino Cortizo, by former Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro. and his brother-in-law, the economist Marco Fernández, as well as his wife Vivian Fernández de Torrijos, among other members of his campaign team.

He also referred to the need to face the pension crisis and the water shortage in the Canal, issues that they had to deal with during their management. “We will have to sit down again with the workers and the employers to find a viable solution,” he said when referring to the crisis of the Disability, Old Age and Death program of the Social Security Fund. In relation to the Panama Canal, he pointed out that it is necessary to redefine its role in the economy taking into account that it currently works “at 80% of its capacity.”

Zulay Rodríguez Lu is a candidate for three elective positions: the Presidency of the Republic, the Mayor’s Office and a representative for circuit 8-2 (San Miguelito district) in the next elections on May 5, 2024.

Rodríguez, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), is running as a representative for this party. However, for the Presidency and the Mayor’s Office of San Miguelito, she does so by free nomination. The candidate indicated that, if she won the last two positions, she would remain as mayor.

Althoughshe did not reveal who he had in mind as Ministers of Economy and Finance, he did say that they would be selected from a shortlist. “I already have those who could do their planning function that they took away from the Ministry of Finance,” she said.

On the topic of health, he recalled that there are great challenges, such as the construction of a new Cancer Institute, since they only have a budget of $20 million for the plans. The same happens with the Indian River issue: the study was carried out, but there is no concrete decision.

Rodríguez recalled that there are several areas of the country such as Chiriquí (Bugaba) and Veraguas (Santiago) that are waiting for their Oncology.

In the middle of the interview with Rodríguez, the candidate for the presidency of the Republic for the PRD party and current vice president, José Gabriel Carrizo , arrived, who arrived saying: “Zulay Rodríguez Lu, how are you? Let me greet you” and he gave her a kiss, to which she responded: thank you. Later, Rodríguez commented: “He hasn’t greeted me in three years.”

If she were elected, what would the free-standing candidate Maribel Gordón do? How would you achieve the world of equality and full and universal validity of rights that you speak of? Who supports her campaign?

Those were La Prensa ‘s questions for Maribel Gordón in the run-up to Vision 2024 , the event that brought together Gordón and the other presidential candidates to talk about the future and how they will resolve the crises that affect the country’s citizens.

Maribel Gordon arrived at the Sheraton at 7:45 am, accompanied by her vice presidential candidate, economist Richard Morales. With the usual calm of her experienced teacher, she said that the public contribution to her campaign is “the lowest among all the proposals.” Instead of economic growth, she promised “economic development.”

The first thing is to guarantee a decent life, which has been denied by the governments that have been creating the State. The second, a participatory democracy project that represents the real interest of the population. And the third thing is that I believe that we must create a policy that is aimed at achieving human well-being, which implies the full satisfaction of needs as a right, but also implies cleaning up against corruption.

Public finances, economic aid and the crisis in the education sector, as well as the financial situation of the Social Security Fund (CSS), are some of the issues that were analyzed by the presidential candidate for free nomination and official candidate for the Social Independent Alternative Party (PAIS), Melitón Arrocha.

Arrocha, who participated in the Vision 2024 forum organized by La Prensa , pointed out that there is “a delicate macrofiscal situation that the next government will inherit, due to the negligence and irresponsibility with which public finances have been managed in the current administration.” .

Along these lines, the presidential candidate for free nomination stated that the country has been involved in a series of revelations questioned by society, as is the case of the economic aid granted by the Institute for the Training and Use of Resources. Humans (Ifarhu).

Arrocha questioned the aid granted by Ifarhu, where “cases have been seen of people whose skills and qualifications are unknown, and who are the subject of million-dollar gifts from the State so that they can pursue careers whose importance for the development of the country should be questioned.” .

“These are issues that highlight the importance of forums like La Prensa to continue perfecting our democratic state,” Arrocha highlighted.

Covid -19, a disease transmitted by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has caused the death of 22 people during the first two epidemiological weeks of January 2024. This is evidenced by the latest report from the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) , which states that in the first week (from December 31 to January 6) 8 deaths were recorded, and last week (from December 7 to January 6) January 13) the number rose to 14.

The Minsa clarified that the deaths, for the most part, are of people who suffer from a chronic disease or do not have the covid-19 vaccine up to date.

The number of deaths represents 7 more deaths than those recorded in the first two epidemiological weeks of 2023, since from January 1 to 7, 2023, 10 deaths were reported and in the second week, from January 2 to 14, the figure was out of 5.

While the number of hospitalized people in this second epidemiological week was 83, of which 79 are confined in the ward and 4 in intensive care units (ICU) .

The number of hospitalized people is lower than that reported for the same period in 2023, when 86 were registered. Of that total, 82 were in the ward and 4 in the ICU.

The Epidemiology report shows that, during the week of January 2 to 14, 1,843 new positive cases of covid-19 were reported, raising the accumulated number of confirmed cases to 1,057,841 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

In this last epidemiological week, a total of 7,249 tests were carried out, with a weekly positivity percentage of 25.4%, the report details.

As for the arrival date of the updated vaccine against covid-19 from the pharmaceutical duo Pfizer/BioNTech, it has not yet been confirmed by the Minsa.

However, it is expected to arrive this January to begin the immunization of the population for the Carnival festivities next February.

The Minsa reported that they expect a batch between 150,000 to 160,000 doses of the updated formula of the vaccine against covid-19, which protects against the Ómicron variant and its subvariants, at the end of this month of January. This is due to a delay on the part of the company in delivery.

This medium was able to learn that the country has been waiting for this updated vaccine since last November.

Experts suggest that it is crucial to have this updated vaccine available, since previous vaccines against covid-19 have been losing effectiveness over time against the new descendants of the Ómicron variant.


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