March First: Citizens March
by Miguel Antonio Bernal
I will march
You will march
We will march
They will march
The corruption which by acts and omissions reigns over the three branches of government is ever more repudiated. The Supreme Court magistrates, the ministers and the legislators, by their conduct, are serving to awaken different sectors of the population, which repudiate the corrupt ones.
A Citizens March for Justice and Dignity from the El Carmen Church to Plaza Porras held on January 29 of last year surpassed the expectations of both those who supported the initiative and those who, blinded by their envy and myopia, opposed it.
Another Citizens March has been called for March 1 at 4 in the afternoon, this time from Plaza Porras to the Legislative Palace, to reaffirm the citizens’ rejection of impunity and to demand that the corrupt ones be thrown in jail, and now the resignation of the Supreme Court magistrates. Behind the national symbols as always, each with their own signs and slogans, everyone is invited to participate in a civil and peaceful but determined manner.
We have to strengthen the bonds of our united civic will to demand justice and to repudiate this “nothing will happen here” apathy.
Panama and Panamanians require a new commitment by everyone concerned to the process of citizen participation. We need it in order to build and mend the social fabric connecting the institutions of public administration and a citzenry that participates. For this purpose, free access to information, transparency and accountability are just as important as the judicial independence that’s missing.
Let’s all go to the march and all demand due and exemplary punishment for those directly and indirectly responsible for the looting of the public coffers, and those who have committed grave human rights violations. Now’s the time to get out of this pit in which we have been sunk for these recent years, due to Martinelli’s authoritarianism but also to the vagaries and mediocrities of successive governments.
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