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Volume 16, Number 10
September 24, 2010


culture

Also in this section:
Books: Empire of the Summer Moon
The God of Carnage at the Ancon Theater
Creative Change in Coco Solo
Video: Paradise Stolen 2
George Scribner's paintings of the canal expansion
Sparky the Wonder Dog
Cool Internet sites
Poets' Corner
Short fiction: Rosaura
Sandra Eleta photo retrospective
Coraza dance troupe is 20 years old
Groundwater: A Listening Project
Theatre Guild wants to bolster its archives for its 60th anniversary


A look back, now that a new batch of Bocas rogues are in the headlines
Paradise Stolen 2
a video review by Bernard Collier

This is the second TV film by Adelita Coriat and combines the original, shown in September of 2006, and it divulges more facts about the scams on Isla Solarte in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. These involved the selling Rights of Possession (Derechos Possesorios or RoP) of state-owned land in Panama.

Shepard Johnson is on the run and has not returned to Panama or Isla Solarte for years. His sales collapsed and he remains in his house in Granite Bay, California, complaining he is the innocent party and refusing to return to Panama City and face the charges against him. He blames everybody else for his demise, declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July of 2007 in California and suing anyone who does not agree with him. (Those lawsuits have not prospered.)

Guillermo Martucci and his partners, even though under house arrest, go about their daily business as normal. The same applies to the other defendants in the case. They have very deep pockets, having swindled people out of millions of dollars.

The government and the corrupt judiciary refuses to do anything about the corruption at all levels, instead of tackling the problems are now part of it which recent events and legislation protecting crooks in Panama has proven. This outraged investors who demanded action and indicated that if this problem was not tackled the whole Panama land bubble could burst --- and although the reasons are more complex than just that, it did burst.

In August of 2007 the government was forced to amend law 62 regarding RoP, which had caused so much controversy and was open to misinterpretation by crooks. The introduction of Law 2 about concessions in 2006 did little to alleviate the problem. More recently the Martinelli administration has legislated in this area and now there's another proposal for a new land titling authority.

Non-Spanish speakers are advised to have someone with knowledge of the Spanish language to assist in understanding some of the complications of this problem.

I would like to extend my grateful thanks to Adelita Coriat for her persistence and excellent reporting. Enjoy her films, and please spread the word and pass the URL on to any other persons or organization you think will benefit from its contents.

This documentary covers the 200 investors on Solarte and now includes the native community on the island who are also under threat. All hope one day to call Isla Solarte home, regretfully after ten years there are a few (now deceased) who will never be able to do that.






Also in this section:
Books: Empire of the Summer Moon
The God of Carnage at the Ancon Theater
Creative Change in Coco Solo
Video: Paradise Stolen 2
George Scribner's paintings of the canal expansion
Sparky the Wonder Dog
Cool Internet sites
Poets' Corner
Short fiction: Rosaura
Sandra Eleta photo retrospective
Coraza dance troupe is 20 years old
Groundwater: A Listening Project
Theatre Guild wants to bolster its archives for its 60th anniversary



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