Panama figures in US human rights report

 
668Views 4Comments Posted 01/04/2021

A devastating Human Rights report prepared by the US  State Department   revealing that that corruption continues to be “a serious problem” in Panama’s Executive, Legislative and Judicial organs, got front page coverage  in La Estrella and La Prensa  on Thursday, A  but was ignored by Martinelli-owned Panama America  and Critica.

The 127-page report   shows that courts dismissed processes in which "high profile" corruption was investigated, due to the "lack of evidence" or "procedural errors" of the prosecutors. It mentions one case: that of the failed Tonosí irrigation project , where there were no culprits.

It is made clear that the lack of convictions in corruption cases encourages the perception that in Panama the judicial system is "susceptible to internal and external corrupt influences."

“Two former presidents,  Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019), and two former ministers, Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu and Jaime Ford (of the Martinelli government), are under investigation for corruption related to the Odebrecht case”, the report  reads. It also links Martinelli to the New Business case , and recalls that a court found him "not guilty" in the wiretap trial.

The cases linked to alleged corruption of the government of Laurentino Cortizo also appear, such as the scandals in the  pandemic puchases, and recalls that some went to the Public Ministry, such as the failed purchase of used fans and with a surcharge. These purchases were managed by the Ministry of the Presidency, led by Minister and Vice President  José Gabriel Carrizo.

The State Department also sets its sights on access to justice. It says that this right was hit, because due to the pandemic, the judiciary closed the courts between March and June, which 'delayed the administration of pending cases. Hearings to reduce the prison population and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection were held from April to May, but the regular absence of public defenders contributed to further delays. "

Freedom of expression

Although the document says that "in general" the government respects freedom of expression and of the press, journalists and the media noted an increase in criminal and civil defamation lawsuits, which is considered a threat to freedom of expression. expression and press. They mention the kidnapping ordered by Judge Lina E. Castro De León against Corporación La Prensa SA, for $ 1.8 million as a result of a lawsuit filed by former President of the Republic  Ernesto Pérez Balladares.

Remember that the deputy Sergio Gálvez, from the legislative plenary session, (which gives him immunity), accused the political analyst Edwin Cabrera of being a pedophile and having problems with drinking. He mentions that the deputy Zulay Rodríguez sued Mauricio Valenzuela of the digital medium Foco Panamá , after he denounced her participation "in a case of gold trafficking."

In addition, it warns that in 2020, LGTBI groups reported harassment by the security forces, especially in the months in which purchases by gender were established.

Sexual abuse and harassment

The document says that the crimes of rape remained active. "Rapes continued to constitute the majority of sexual crimes investigated by the Judicial Investigation Directorate of the National Police," highlights the report that,  that the Supreme Court of Justice is investigating Deputy  Arquesio Arias for sexual crimes.

It deals with the case of a pilot of the National Aeronaval Service, who reported her supervisor for sexual harassment before the Public Ministry. After these transfers, the accused assumed new function s, and the victim suffered workplace harassment, due to the fact that she was stripped of all functions.



Comments 4

user
Snake Pliskin

ADJ. Show me some proof of what you say. You are deceived. you are also a total piece of garbage that knows nothing.

17 days ago
user
Ajd

I am going to assume that "expat" is probably a right wing trump loving gringo, based on his adoration of martinelli. While his administration did initiate and complete some major projects which have been a benefit to Panama, he was likewise totally engulfed in both political and financial corruption, both for which he has still not been made to be accountable. So in my mind, he is worse than the current administration which I see as more inept than outright corrupt. Martinelli's crimes still go unpunished because of his wealth and the fear that Panamanian influencers have of him. It is questionable whether he will ever be fully brought to justice. As we watch his sons lanquish in a foreign prison awaiting a free trip to the US, one must even wonder if Martinelli's corruption tentacles will be able to reach out that far to ensure his spawn's salvation. We will see.

20 days ago
user
Ajd

I am going to assume that "expat" is probably a right wing trump loving gringo, based on his adoration of martinelli. While his administration did initiate and complete some major projects which have been a benefit to Panama, he was likewise totally engulfed in both political and financial corruption, both for which he has still not been made to be accountable. So in my mind, he is worse than the current administration which I see as more inept than outright corrupt. Martinelli's crimes still go unpunished because of his wealth and the fear that Panamanian influencers have of him. It is questionable whether he will ever be fully brought to justice. As we watch his sons lanquish in a foreign prison awaiting a free trip to the US, one must even wonder if Martinelli's corruption tentacles will be able to reach out that far to ensure his spawn's salvation. We will see.

20 days ago
user
Expat

Laurentio Cortizo is not only another corrupt leader in Panama he also steps up to limit the freedom in this country by senseless curfews and by killing the human rights and installing a leftist police state here in the country. We should jail him in advance because otherwise he could flee the country before the law catches him. Martinelli did somthing good for Panama Varela was a simple looser but Cortizo is a high criminal traitor and we should take care he gets what he earns.

20 days ago
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