Wednesday 3rd April 2024.

April 2, 2024


The former first lady of the Republic, Marta Linares de Martinelli , confirmed that the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI) issued the seizure of bank accounts, fixed terms, securities and movable and immovable property in the name of Importadora Ricamar, SA (Irisa) , for a turnout of up to $21.1 million.

She announced that Irisa’s auditors will go to the DGI to provide information “to see if there was actually tax evasion or not.”

“We are going to show that we are not tax evaders. What’s more, we pay up to date and if we can pay in advance we do so to take advantage of the benefits of paying in advance. We are a company that generates a lot of tax. Imagine the Social Security Fund , in the condition it is in and this company is the one that pays the most in social security, are you not going to give it a chance? “, said Martinelli, in a public event called this Tuesday, April 2, with the presidential candidates, for the signing of the “Pact for the human rights of older people.”

Marta de Martinelli attended on behalf of José Raúl Mulino , candidate of the Realizing Goals (RM) and Alianza parties.

La Prensa reported that on April 1, the DGI sent notes to most of the banks in the Panamanian market, in which it declared the immediate seizure of assets and accounts in the name of Irisa, operator of the Súper 99 chain, owned by the family of former president Ricardo Martinelli .

Two of these banks would be the National Bank of Panama (BNP) and the Saint Georges Bank, since their relationship with Irisa is public.

According to the former first lady, Irisa never received “notification of anything” from the DGI.

“There was very bad faith there. If you think there is a crime, you notify us, so that we can go to our lawyers and our accountants,” she added.

Although the former first lady says that her company was unaware of the process carried out by the DGI, La Prensa published that the DGI began an investigation on June 28, 2022 into the companies of the Martinelli group, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI , for of the United States will inform the Panamanian authorities in writing about a possible crime of tax evasion. The FBI note describes operations through which former President Martinelli’s family, including his wife and children, would benefit from “irregular” financial arrangements, through Irisa.

This newspaper even reported that, as part of these investigations, on July 15, 2022 , DGI officials entered the headquarters of at least four supermarkets of the Super 99 chain, where DGI personnel showed interest in the equipment that reports fiscal transactions from supermarket cash registers, as well as equipment connected to the DGI from the cash registers of a Martinelli group company: Rapid Money , a money remittance house.

The information about the seizure of the bank accounts and other assets of Importadora Ricamar was obtained from banking sources and the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP), which, however, did not provide details about the measure.

The seizure of the accounts by the DGI occurred shortly after the head of the DGI, Publio De Gracia , and a team of officials attended a work meeting in Washington, in response to an invitation made by the Division. of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI), from March 18 to 22. De Gracia had held a similar meeting with said division last December.

Your gray hair is not a death sentence. The passage of time does not make them less independent, nor capable of enjoying a full life.

They are adults over 60 years of age who represent 14% of the electorate in the elections on May 5, and they no longer want politicians to “count” them.

This was the message from a group of older adults to the presidential candidates in a forum in the atrium of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) this Tuesday, April 2.

For the first time in the electoral history of the country, the candidates for the presidency of the Republic, or their representatives, signed the Pact for the Human Rights of Older Persons in Panama in front of some of the 45 groups of older adults who participated in the writing the document.

“We are not aged by our arteries, but by our desire to live,” said Argénida de Barrios to applause and shouts from the public. “Don’t kill us while we are alive. We are not going to allow them to count us… And even if we get dyed, here we are,” she added.

Ricardo Lombana , for the Otro Camino Movement , and Maribel Gordón , also for the free nomination, were the only two candidates for the position who attended the event in person.

José Gabriel Carrizo , candidate for the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , sent his running mate Camilo Alleyne to represent him. Rosario Turner attended on behalf of the candidate Martín Torrijos , the standard bearer of the Popular Party (PP) .

Former capital mayor José Isabel Blandón was present by his running mate Rómulo Roux, for the Democratic Change (CD) party .

Marta Linares de Martinelli , wife of former president Ricardo Martinelli, was there representing the candidate for the Realizing Goals (RM) party , José Raúl Mulino . Ricardo Martinelli, who remains barricaded in the Nicaraguan embassy in Panama , after the Supreme Court of Justice confirmed its conviction of him for the New Business case , founded the Realizing Goals party . Linares de Martinelli said that Mulino could not attend due to previous commitments. So far, Mulino has not attended any presidential debates or candidate forums.

Aida Michelle de Maduro , who signed the document in advance and did not stay until the end of the event, attended on behalf of her running mate Melitón Arrocha , candidate for free nomination.

The only empty seat at the event was that of Zulay Rodríguez , independent candidate. Rodríguez did not send any representative nor did she confirm whether she will sign the pact in the future, according to the event organizers.

José Raúl Mulino , presidential candidate of the political pact between the Realizing Goals (RM) and Alianza parties , will also not attend the Sustainable Tourism debate , a State Obligation, organized by the National Chamber of Tourism. The event will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, April 3, at the headquarters of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) at 7:30 pm

Until the time of writing this note, seven of the eight candidates competing for the Presidency of the Republic had confirmed their participation, according to sources linked to the event. Mulino, on the other hand, reported that he will not go.

Mulino has also not participated in the three presidential debates that have taken place so far. In the first (February 26), organized by the University of Panama and the Electoral Tribunal (TE), the seat of the RM and Alianza candidate was empty because at that time the TE was debating the disqualification of Ricardo Martinelli to compete for The presidency.

By the time the Panamanian Debate Association and the TE held the second debate (March 13), Mulino was already RM’s candidate, since the TE disqualified Martinelli from participating in the May elections due to his 10-year sentence. years in prison for the New Business case. However, Mulino said that he would not go because he had commitments and also claimed that the format did not contribute.

Agents of the National Police and personnel from the Public Ministry seized 696 packages with drugs inside a container in a port in the province of Colón.

According to a report from the authorities, the rectangular packages were hidden in a container on a ship coming from the United States, in transit through Panama, and with its final destination to Copenhagen, Denmark. One person has been arrested in this case. The Public Ministry reported that the Colón and Guna Yala Drug Prosecutor’s Office began investigations into this case.

The Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan) reported that at least seven towns, between Arraiján and La Chorrera, will be left without the supply of drinking water this Wednesday, April 3.

In a statement, Idaan details that the Jaime Quintero Díaz de La Chorrera water treatment plant will operate this Wednesday at 50% of its capacity, due to cleaning work in the sedimentation tanks and maintenance in the motor control center of the treated water room. These works will be carried out from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

The entity specifies that the supply of drinking water will be interrupted in the towns of Guadalupe, El Coco, Playa Leona and Puerto Caimito in the district of La Chorrera. Meanwhile, the townships of Juan Demóstenes Arosemena and Vista Alegre, in the district of Arraiján, will also be affected.

In La Chorrera, the townships of Barrio Balboa and Barrio Colón will register low pressure.

Idaan reported that sensitive points in both districts, such as hospitals, will be supplied with tank cars.

The most recent epidemiological report from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reflects that Panama exceeded the figure of 3 thousand accumulated cases of dengue this year.

For Epidemiological Week 12 (March 17 to 23), Health authorities confirmed 3,215 accumulated cases of dengue nationwide. The regions with the most positive cases are Panama Metro with 583, Colón with 395, Chiriquí with 332 and Panama East with 287.

The report specifies that dengue cases without warning signs reach 2,856, while with warning signs they amount to 343. Serious cases total 16.

To date, there are still seven deaths due to dengue in 2024; Two cases correspond to the metropolitan region and another two to Colón.

In the provinces of Coclé, Panamá Este and Chiriquí, one death is recorded in each.

The Minsa reiterates the call to the population to keep homes and work areas clean, check door and window screens, and under sinks, which are potential breeding sites for the transmitting mosquito.

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is a disease that affects people of all ages, with symptoms that vary from a mild fever to a disabling fever, accompanied by severe headache, pain behind the eyes, pain in muscles and joints, and erythema.

This Monday the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned about the increase in dengue cases in America. He reported that until March 26, 2024, more than 3.5 million cases and more than a thousand deaths were recorded in the region.


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