Shutterstock image by TheDigitalArtist.
by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.
The coronavirus pandemic, as it has been categorized by the World Health Organization, has followed a vertical increase trend in more than 100 countries. Panama could not escape the situations that it has been provoking. Owing to our borders and nature, it’s a dangerous epidemic from the start.
While large sectors of the Panamanian population – prisoners of uncertainty, uneasiness and fear – emptied supermarkets and pharmacies as a result of the confirmation of the first deaths due to the virus crown, the deputies took the opportunity to introduce new rules that favor corruption with impunity. Without a doubt, human misery in all its glory!
Of course, this, like other heartless actions against our citizens’ rights, should not cause us any surprise. This is the customary method of almost all of the members of the most discredited branch of government in our times.
But it does not end there. Faithful heir to the dictatorial regime that once reigned in Panama, the President of the Republic has issued Executive Decree No. 472 of March 13, 2020. Under the pretext of “extreme health measures,” in reality it’s a blatant attack on fundamental freedoms enshrined in multiple treaties, declarations and international understandings about human, political and social rights, of which Panama is a signatory.
Using weak sophisms and trickery with the concepts of “emergency” and “urgency,” they endow themselves with an illegal instrument to not only trample upon our fragile freedoms and constitutional guarantees, but also to be able to gobble up, without any mercy, the nation’s Sovereign Fund until they the on the money that the population needs to improve its quality of life but they want for their corrupt practices.
There will be no shortage of sleaze. The sponsors and beneficiaries of gangster neo-populism, those really in control, are the usual power brokers. Nor will they lack those who will shout – to each other even if nobody is listening — that “it’s to protect the health of the people.” Health that has never much mattered to them, by the way.
They go on sowing the whirlwind. They go on imposing deceit. They go hand-in-hand with impunity. The crown of the virus that infects political power will also fall, and them with it. Nothing is eternal in the human world.
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