The roughly translated stream of consciousness rant by one of President Cortizo’s “influencers:” “This fuckup page! The only thing they know is to incite disturbances. Luckily they are only a couple of guys and never are able to create a real crowd. Because all those who live there come to the “peaceful protest.” It surely gets out of control and there may even be injuries. Good night. Blessings.”
by Eric Jackson
The PRD legislators’ meeting at Jimmy’s. The PRD mayor of Panama City on the beach at Coronado. The party at the apartment of sanitation authority aide Pedro “El Guarachero” Ortíz, for which a government vehicle was used to bring in people and supplies.
Now an after hours gathering at the La Fragata bar in Obarrio, at which figured, say neighbors who streamed out into the streets banging pots and pans to protest, several government officials. “Influencer” Alisson Staff, who is on the National Customs Authority payroll, posted photos of the event on social media. A director of a health clinic for the Ministry of Health and a project administrator for the Ministry of the Presidency were also among those allegedly there, although they either deny it or won’t comment about it. The police showed up to face the crowd outside.
The event was identified in social media as a birthday party for a local fashion designer. Curfew was supposed to be at 7 p.m., but the party went on until midnight or so.
What about the bar, which under the curfew decree was supposed to be closed at that hour? The police waited until a justice of the peace showed up sometime later before going in, and found the place empty.
And Nito’s “influencer?” She had the talking points down right, launching the PRD call center talking points against the press and accusing the ruling party’s critics of trying to foment violence.
Most likely the health ministry will hand out fines to the establishment and those identified as being there after hours. Minor offense, perhaps, but another reminder that the social strata and party activists in the president’s entourage consider themselves unbound by rules that affect everyone else. We shall see if anyone gets COVID, but in any case the political effect is toxic to the Cortizo administration.
FOCO, the object of Ms. Staff’s would-be influential wrath, is a muckraking little news organization with a website and social media feeds, something of a thorn in the PRD administration’s side. PRD voices dismiss them as a front for the Independent Movement (MOVIN). Whenever government figures make public displays of special privileges, locked up neighbors tend to get irate and come out to protest, and tend to contact FOCO about the situation.
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