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Volume 18, Number 1
February 7, 2012
Learn Spanish Online with Habla Ya's Skype Spanish Lessons


Also in this section:
Editorials: Volume 18; Thug rant; and Arnulfo's bones and Floyd's
Harrington, Annus Horribilis
Waters, Occupy
Thurston, Comparing two Panama Cities
Wiese, The sensei
Inter-American Press Association, Freedom of the press in 2011
Bloice, Obama's ominous arming of despots in the Gulf
Lara, Martinelli lashes out at media owners for reporting about corruption
Frente Amplio por la Democracia, About the election laws
Keller, Antisemites and kindergartens
Shah, Put Baby Doc on trial
Gandásegui, Martinelli and the business dinosaurs
Baker, Budget balancers and global warmers
Valencia, Chávez's illness: is the left all right in Venezuela?
Human Rights Foundation, Three years in jail and $40 million fine for journalist
Bruce, First in the Nation
Payne, Panama president tries to silence the press
Beale, Peace Corps safety measures
Perkins, Policy to kill emerging countries' economies
Jackson, An astounding environmental mockery
Zamora, Military maneuvers in the country without an army
Mast, Amanda
April 10th Movement, Barro Blanco promoters' bid to dispossess a community
Sirias, A hero from the Golden Era
Letters to the editor

All sorts of letters, from all over, in the box this time

Don't miss your chance to Bid4Boquete

The annual Bid4Boquete fundraiser is Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12. If you haven't marked your calendars and made plans to attend, please do so now. Yo (heart) Boquete 2012, is a not-to-be-missed event.

February 11 kicks the weekend off with an art show of multi-media offerings, including designer jewelry, by artists from throughout Panama. The art show is open to the public at the BCP Event Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The wine tasting and live auction Saturday night is sold out.

Sunday's events begin at 1 p.m.:

Silent auction, closes at 5 p.m.;

Patio sale;

Plant sale featuring heliconias, orchids and bromeliads, as well as more familiar garden and house plants;

Craft and used book sale;

Children's games and activities (so the adults can shop and bid!);

Food court including a full bar;

Raffles. Raffle tickets are $3 each or two for $5. The lucky winners will take home a basket of wine and liquors from Canavaggio's worth more than $240, a refrigerator, or share 50/50 in a cash pot with Bid4Boquete. You do not have to be present to win a raffle --- but you do need to buy your tickets. Raffle tickets are available at the Tuesday morning market in Boquete.

Last year's event raised more than $60,000 and was divided among several organizations serving the needs of Boquete and Potrerillos. More than 100 volunteers have been working for months now to collect donations and organize the activities, and we have already received more than $73,000 in donated goods and services and almost $15,000 in cash donations. More than $6,000 of donated items have already been purchased online.

Our largest corporate sponsors, Banco General, Banco Nacional and Boquete Quality Properties, have pledged a total of $10,000. Be sure and thank them next time you are in town.

Visit our Auction Item page to see the amazing list of goods and services that more than 300 donors have offered this year: Trips, resort packages, airline tickets, wine, legal services, tours, fishing trips, accounting help, fertilizer ... the items range from the practical to the luxurious and there is, really, something for everyone. You can bid online now to secure something you just must have. Go to the website and enter your bid for the full value and the item is yours. Or, start the bidding now, online, and you might just get a bargain.

What we need now is for you to attend. Help Bid4Boquete meet its goal of raising $75,000 this year to benefit those in need. One hundred percent of proceeds from the sale go to beneficiaries. Come out to see the art work and jewelry for sale on Saturday. Plan to bring the family and spend Sunday afternoon enjoying the fun and excitement of this annual event. Kick off on Sunday is at 1 p.m. at the BCP Event Center and across the bridge at the Boquete Feria. See you there!


Video by stringers for TeleSur

Video request

You should put this on your page.

James Lind

Nature photography course in Panama

I, Jerry Bauer, will be back in Panama in September doing a nature photography course in cooperation with ANCON and the Mesoamerica Society for Biology and Conservation. The society will hold its annual congress at Hotel Panama September 17 to 21, and the photo course will be held September 15 to 16. The course will be held in Spanish. We have done this course for three years and it is very successful.

The course is open to everyone and our objective is to teach photography as a tool for conservation. All of my efforts and those of my team are donated and all fees for the course go to the Mesoamerica Society for Biology and Conservation.

In addition to the photo course we will also be sponsoring a photo contest for society members and a photo festival, "Mesoamerica... es," with a one-hour photo presentation from a different professional photographer each day of the congress about conservation and nature in Central America. We have been doing the photo contest for about 10 years and the photo festival for three years.

I am still taking a lot of photos. Last year I was recognized by the North American Nature Photography Association for using photography to support conservation efforts in Central America. They awarded me the "NANPA Mission Award," which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in using photography to support conservation and nature. Now I am working a lot in the Dominican Republic with ecotourism and doing a lot of marketing and promotion for small community ecotourism activities.

Jerry Bauer

Another video request

Please pass this on.

Jorge Ventocilla

Religious liberty 9, President Obama 0

I commend the US Supreme Court for unanimously ruling that religious bodies can and should set their own standards for hiring ministers, free from government interference. The decision effectively shoots down President Obama's latest attempt to control and suppress religious freedom in America.

The separation of church and state prevents government bureaucrats from deciding who will preach and teach any religious faith. Had the government won the case, not even the Pope would have been safe from Big Brother!

The strength of a nation is not found in the Democratic view, which is to increase dependence on government, but in the view that champions limited government, religious freedom and personal responsibility.

The task of the state is not to consolidate and exercise power, but merely to regulate human life in society, creating a balance of freedom and good things that allows each individual to lead a life worthy of man. Its role is to safeguard the rights of each individual and the welfare of all. Failing to limit itself thusly, it posits itself as something absolute.

James Madison recognized religious freedom as a fundamental right that precedes the state and which cannot be severely curtailed or denied by it. Put more broadly, and as Pope John Paul II put it, religious freedom is the "first freedom." It is "the premise and guarantee of all freedoms that ensure the common good."

President Obama built his election campaign around "the audacity of hope." "Hope" is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Real hope is not found in the kind of optimism that demands blind servility to the government, but rather in the compassion of hearts and enterprising spirit of citizens.

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario

A song

Is this erotic? A wmv from El Chombo de Panama. Click here.

Roger L Kelley

Peace of mind

War is too commonplace a scene around the world. Some of us have been spared, even though the mass media reduces this remoteness, which hurts those who live there, but images on a full stomach are always painless.

As often happens, for good and for bad, a minority will push a majority. The passions moving a few will lead many others to take up arms and devastate everything in their way, without distinguishing between fighters or simple citizens. Women and children get the worst of it in wars, wars whose underlying reasons they never get to understand clearly, and that seem to have no end.

And when peace arrives, if at all, not everything is over yet. As spectators, it may seem to us that peace simply arrives when there is no more warfare news on TV, when the demonstrations of a people harassed by cold, famine, and the militia's submachine guns stop hitting the headlines; but peace needs time to settle down in daily life. Just like with a catastrophe, the worst may be about to happen.

I remember a painting by Van Gogh, in which a crouching father waits with open arms for the first steps of a small child being held by its mother, his wife. The background is half a family garden and half an orchard. It is a true symbol of that peace we all long for, and which seems so hard to find, not only around the world, but also within our own families, or the inner peace of the inhabitants of a world which keeps chasing after who knows what.

Peace requires coming back home, rebuilding houses and, above all, mending hearts. Peace is not only a fireplace burning under a roof; it is also enjoying peace of mind, not feeling hatred for others, forgetting grudges against your neighbor, and seeing a hopeful future. That peace of heart requires patience and support. Such peace is likely to be achieved only by children, since it will not be easy for adults to forget how much they have suffered, to forget those who have lost their lives along the way, those who cannot come back anymore.

For us, our ancestors have already gone through all of this, and it seemed as if the children we were then had actually found the necessary peace. Certainly our parents, active players in suffering, knew how to go on, leaving grudges on their way.

But, as usual, a few want to move many to rekindle hatred and resentment, to open old, healed wounds.

Agustín Pérez

Life as an expat in Panama

I'm curious what is life like for Americans interested in relocating to the Republic of Panama?

Lisa D. Morgan

Editor's note: There are all sorts of different kinds of Americans, with all sorts of different preferences and needs.

Myself, I was born here to American parents, so it was different for me to come back than for somebody who is not a Panamanian citizen to move here.

If you come here without illusions and do prudent things, there will be annoyances but this is a great place to live. If you come here with too many illusions, you will be disillusioned.

A lot does depend on your age, your economic needs, your ability with Spanish and your adaptability to different things. If you want to live in an air-conditioned English-only social bubble, that's possible but expensive and boring.

A superlative film that exposes (winning) campaign tactics

Lee Atwater begat Karl Rove began the third generation of Republican campaign operatives in the current election cycle. If you haven't seen this PBS Frontline show, DO. It is a masterful documentary! Winner of the national Edward R. Murrow Award, the Polk Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the International Documentary Association's Donnet Award, Boogie Man has been called one of the best political documentaries ever made.

You can download it from several file-sharing sites on the Internet or purchase it at the PBS site, or used copies are available at a discounted price from Amazon. IMHO any and all people working on a presidential campaign should watch this video, no matter what political persuasion. This is now the norm ... and the more dollars at play, the more the "craft" --- as deplorable as it may be --- is honed and deployed.

The documentary is downloadable from many sites, including at Daily Booth, and The Pirate Bay.

And a bonus for my South Carolina friends ... What's the matter with South Carolina? (Hey, it used to be "What's the matter with Kansas?)

Mary Roush

Take a walk to beat crippling disease ALS

I wanted to fill you in on some of the background of Walk to Defeat ALS, a two-mile walk for charity March 17.

We in Florida will walk under our old banner of the Panama Canal Museum again this year. You may ask why the Panama Canal Museum Team. Well, I was born in the Panama Canal Zone, I was the third generation to arrive in the Hummer family. My grandfather was one of the first American employees to take part in the construction of this engineering marvel and his service went from 1904 to 1938, one of only 41 Americans to remain throughout the ten-year construction period. My father and I spent most of our careers working in and around the Panama Canal. My son, also born in Panama, started his career with the Panama Canal Company, making him the fourth generation to work on this engineering marvel.

We could see the end of the American era of Panama's history in 1999 and three of us who worked for the canal founded a museum to preserve that history. We did so in 1998 and, as we founders are reaching advanced age, we decided to search for a suitable way to insure the rather extensive collection would be preserved and available in the future. We found an enthusiastic successor with the University of Florida, where our collection will be integrated into three major departments. This process will be completed June. Many of my museum colleagues have walked with me since 2005, but this will be our last team walk under the museum's banner. I'm hoping we can also have our colleagues from the University of Florida join us from now on.

As many of you know I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2004. I'm one of the few lucky ones beating the average life span of two to five years from diagnosis. The disease is relentless in slowly robbing bodily functions. I can no long walk or stand, speak or eat without the gifts of technology. There is no known cause, there are still no effective therapies and a cure seems as elusive today as it was when Lou Gehrig gave his name to the disease. Research is closing in on some definitive diagnostic tests, the cause or causes and some therapies to slow the progression. Unfortunately, most of us will not be alive to see these long-overdue advances. But research is crucial to developing these tests, therapies and technologies. Your donations are essential for driving this research and supporting the patient services provided by the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association, which we need to live a reasonable quality of life.

These walks are the primary source of funds for our chapter. The chapter serves the entire state with patient care coordinators dispersed around the state. Of the 1,200 estimated ALS patients in Florida, the chapter serves close to 700. As the chapter's services become better known to the public, the patient load can only be expected to grow. The care coordinators now have caseloads of more than 100 patients and more resources are needed to expand the care services to meet patients' needs. These needs can be almost overwhelming as the disease progresses to total paralysis, with life dependent on invasive respiratory care (vent and tracheotomy), feeding tubes and nearly round-the-clock care. One baffling aspect of ALS is that military service more than doubles the incidence of the disease.

So, Sandy and I ask you to join us in the walk by donating or, if you are in the Tampa Bay area, walking with us as I tool around in my electric power chair. There are only 41 days left before the walk, so please don't put off making a donation, for which we will be grateful. A small token donation is much better than none, but of course the bigger the better.

You can do this online or by mailing a check to me at Chuck Hummer, 4480 Mainlands Blvd. W., Pinellas Park, FL 33782.

If I can answer any questions you may have, please e-mail me.

Find out more here.

Chuck Hummer

Mark Boswell

Referring to articles I have read on your Internet site, please advise whether you have any further news about Mark Boswell and his activities.

Lorenz Festersen

Editor's note: There have been several, and that's what a Dogpile or Google search is for. Don't forget to include his alias, "Rex Freeman."

A look through the world's eyes at the US 'freak show'

We Americans know who we are:

The world's most formidable military power (we lost in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, and Iraq; we "won" against tiny Grenada and Panama …); we are being held hostage in Afghanistan. A stalemate will prove worse than defeat.

The guarantor of democracy (we rank 20th after Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia).

The beacon of spiritual impartiality (we abet the incestuous tryst between the body politic and the dinosaurs of the religious right).

The paradigm of puritan chastity (we wallow in staggering promiscuity and vice).

The model of equity (we denounce abortion but cheer when a condemned man is hanged, roasted or injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs).

The guardian of a free press (a faint-hearted mainstream media that won't challenge the evisceration of civil liberties; the enfeeblement of the middle class; the consolidation of wealth into ever-narrower circles of power; unemployment; racism; the offensive against labor; the soaring price of food and medicines; the predatory healthcare system).

In short, we're a nation of superlatives. We're obsessed with bigness: Big cars, huge SUVs, giant trucks, enormous TVs, gigantic abodes, gargantuan pizzas. We want more and, darn it, we'll elect people who promise to deliver.

But how do others see us?

In politics, posture is everything --- to hell with character or substance. Nothing illustrates our fondness for histrionics and dazzling displays of dirt-flinging as well as that the baloney Republican presidential contenders have been regurgitating before crowds of salivating supporters. Seen by the foreign press, the circus to which we've been treated may add yet another dimension to the national character: a taste for the surreal.

Marc Pitzke, of Germany's Der Spiegel, called the Republican presidential joust a "freak show." Candidates compete to spew the most outrageous hard-right positions, denying evolution while endorsing torture and joking about electrocuting illegal immigrants. "How did a major party in the world's only superpower," Pitzke asks, "become a club of liars, debtors, betrayers, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses?"

"These know-nothings," the Spiegel article argues, "are enabled by media outlets neutered by the demands of political correctness. They don't have the guts to say the obvious: 'These people are daft!' Newt Gingrich is considered an intellectual because he can create sentences with multiple clauses. Scarcely one has even the most basic grasp of foreign policy. One said Africa is a country, another that the Taliban rules in Libya. Collectively, they expose a political, economic, geographic, and historical ignorance that makes George W. Bush look like a scholar."

"That's the scariest part," said Lorraine Millot in the French daily, Liberation. "The only GOP candidate who knows a thing about diplomacy, Jon Huntsman, is considered too 'intellectual'."

Millot is right. The others careen to extreme positions that include starting new wars and abandoning old allies. And that's when they even have a position. Herman Cain, now thankfully out of the race, was the front-runner even though he couldn't find a single coherent word to say about President Obama's policy on Libya. He even boasted of knowing little about foreign countries. And yet it was his adultery, not his astounding witlessness that brought him down.

"There's a simple explanation for this bizarre phenomenon," wrote Max Hastings in London's Daily Mail. "In the lunatic, gun-toting badlands of America's Tea Party hick towns, it's considered suspiciously elitist to show any interest in modern science or the world beyond America's borders. Say what you like about British politics, no Member of Parliament of any party would dare to offer themselves as town dog-catcher while knowing as little about the world as the Republican presidential candidates. We in Britain, and everyone else around the world, will suffer if one of the lunatics vying for nomination makes it to the White House."

The American political system has seldom, if ever, looked as dysfunctional as it does when glimpsed from foreign shores.

"The fact that Gingrich, Paul and Huntsman pose an on-and-off threat to Mitt Romney," wrote Matthew Norman in London's Independent, "just confirms how inevitable Romney's nomination is."

Norman may be right. The thrice-married, ethically challenged Gingrich is unlikable in the extreme. Paul is buffoonish. Santorum is smug, Perry is incoherent and Huntsman oozes anti-populist refinement. That leaves Romney, the slimiest, phoniest opportunist to run for president since ...

So sit back and enjoy the charade passing for a presidential election. It can't possibly end in a GOP victory. Can it?

W. E. Gutman

A runner's query

I came across an article or two of yours in my search for an organized running race across Panama. In your sports coverage, you seem to report on the local runs as well as the big canoe race in the Canal Zone. Do you know of a run that goes ocean to ocean?

Weston Ricks

Editor's note: Although in the past there have been ocean-to-ocean runs, this year the biggest running event on the schedule is the Panama City Half Marathon. Click here for information on the 2012 running events in Panama.

Unsustainable politics of exclusion in Jerusalem

While the history of the world is moving decisively toward a culture of inclusion, diversity and pluralism, Israeli politics seem to challenge history by moving in the opposite direction of exclusion and unilateral self-righteous monopoly of geography, demography, history, archaeology and culture, especially in Jerusalem, where Israelis are desperately trying to establish a "Jewish" capital for Israel and "the Jewish people" worldwide, excluding centuries-old presence of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Christian deep-rooted existence and heritage, thus sowing the seeds of imminent conflict and foreseeable war by strangling a city that has historically been of diversified and pluralistic character and a flashpoint for human misery whenever exclusion becomes the rule of the day.

Israeli politics is not moving against history only, but is challenging world politics as well. Although the first Knesset of the newly born "state of Israel" voted on December 13, 1949, to move the seat of government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and despite Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem on June 27, 1967, which the UN Security Council declared "null and void," both unilateral declarations have never been accepted and recognized by the international community, not even by the US, Israel's strategic guardian.

More recently, while millions of Christians were celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, and the birth of Christianity in Jerusalem, the scene of Jesus's resurrection following his death by crucifixion, which is the cornerstone of Christian faith, the Knesset was, on Christmas day, scheduled to consider a draft law that would declare Jerusalem "the capital of the Jewish people" and the capital of Israel at the same time.

The fact that the ruling elite in Tel Aviv has made a prior recognition of Israel as a "Jewish" state a precondition for making peace implicitly and consequently applies to Christians as well, otherwise how could any observer interpret the still-simmering crisis with the Vatican over the holy places in Jerusalem? The "Fundamental Agreement" signed by both sides on December 30, 1993, as well as an agreement on the recognition of the civil effects of ecclesiastical legal personality, signed on November 10, 1997, have yet to be ratified by Israel's Knesset. Some in the Israeli media have been recently accusing the Vatican of seeking to hold control of "Jewish holy sites" in Jerusalem.

The Vatican in the past supported making Jerusalem a corpus separatum, an international city in accordance with the UN Resolution 181 of 1947; Israel's non-compliance delayed the Vatican's formal recognition of Israel until 1993.

More recently, the Vatican renewed calls for an internal agreement to protect the holy places in Jerusalem. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and Vatican's former foreign minister, declared, "There will not be peace if the question of the holy sites is not adequately resolved. The part of Jerusalem within the walls --- with the holy sites of the three religions --- is humanity's heritage. The sacred and unique character of the area must be safeguarded and it can only be done with a special, internationally-guaranteed statute."

The only perceived threat to the holy places against which the Vatican is seeking protection comes from the Israeli politics of exclusion. Rabbi David Rosen, member of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with the Vatican told the Israeli daily Haaretz on January 17, 2010, that Israel "has not been faithful to the pacts of 1993."

The precondition of recognizing Israel as a "Jewish state" is rejected by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel's partner in peace accords, and its self-ruled Palestinian Authority, the 22-member League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In a statement he issued on December 26, 2011, the Secretary-General of the 57-member states of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, condemned the Israeli draft law that declares Jerusalem "the capital of Israel and the Jewish people" as "a direct assault on the Palestinian people and their inalienable and clear rights" and "a flagrant violation of international law and international legitimacy resolutions," which affirm that Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967. PLO representatives considered the Israeli draft law a "declaration of war" and a recipe for igniting a religious conflict. The Islamic-Christian Commission in Support of Jerusalem, in a statement, said if the Israeli draft law was passed it would make Jerusalem "for Judaism and Jews only, which means there would be no freedom of worship in the land of worship."

Israeli attorney and founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, a Jerusalem-based NGO, Daniel Seidemann, wrote on November 30, 2011, "Cumulatively, Israeli policies in East Jerusalem today threaten to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a bitter national conflict that can be resolved by means of territorial compromise, into the potential for a bloody, unsolvable religious war. This threat derives from Israel's dogged pursuit of the settlers' vision of an exclusionary Jewish Jerusalem.

"… Today, Israel must choose between two visions of Jerusalem. On the one hand, it can continue pursuing an exclusive, largely fictitious rule over an already divided, bi-national city --- exposing Israel to virtually universal censure and imperiling the two-state solution. On the other hand, it can pursue policies that can make Israeli Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, a thriving national capital, recognized by all, existing side-by-side with but politically divided from the Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, al Quds. To those who cherish Israel and understand what is truly at stake, the choice is clear," Seidemann concluded.

What is much more important than excluding "a conflict that can be resolved by means of territorial compromise," is that the Israeli politics of exclusion in Jerusalem, which could be summarized by Judaization of the holy city, is a roadmap to de-Arabizing, de-Islamizing, de-Christianizing, de-historizing and de-humanizing Jerusalem, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, and this could not be anything but a roadmap to hell.

Absolutely this is unsustainable Israeli politics.

Nicola Nasser
Occupied Palestine

Fan mail

Eric, you consistently have great viewpoints and are on the ball.

The world needs more respectable and intelligent men like you.

Keep up the good work!

Another narco-dictatorship massacre

On February 5 in the early morning hours the narco-dictatorship that oppresses the Panamanians, led by the fascist Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, began a repression against indigenous Ngabe-Bugle groups, who keep the Inter-American Highway closed to protest against the approval of the law that allows mining and the construction of dams in the indigenous territory. These same groups were victims in July 2010 of another slaughter for the same reasons and by the same government. At the time of writing this article, two natives were known dead and hundreds were injured. The information is incomplete because the tyranny cut all communications with the provinces, such that we are only receiving fragmented news in the capital city. There are indigenous leaders who speak of eleven dead.

For several months I've been reporting the Martinelli administration's dictatorial nature. Panama is a country of 3.5 million people. According to recent figures, foreign debt increased by three billion dollars, so that the much vaunted economic growth is nothing more than a mortgage on future generations as I have pointed out on another occasion. The cost of basic food items rises every day and with it, poverty rates. Crime and public insecurity are at the highest levels in our history. Insecurity is promoted by the government itself to justify hiring more soldiers with the corresponding expenses.

The illicit gain of the president, his ministers, legislators and heads of decentralized entities is not just evident, but vulgar. They are strangling the people with excessive cynicism. The Attorney General files away and decides not to investigate corruption cases in which the President is involved in harmony with other governments, such as the case of radar donations by the Italian government then presided by Silvio Berlusconi. He refuses to investigate the death of over a hundred patients for KPC bacteria, although claims have been filed against the director general of the Social Security Fund for negligent manslaughter. He has not even been separated from the job. Moreover, Martinelli prepares his re-election by creating a new chamber in the Supreme Court of Justice to either endorse it or extend his presidency for five more years.

The Ngabe and Bugle people were repressed by the revived Defense Forces, who battered Panamanians during the 21 years of military dictatorship. These soldiers are the ones who "protect" the Colombian border from the drug trade. We know they are the ones in charge of allowing and guarding cocaine shipments from the south. So the remilitarization of the country to combat drug trafficking was shown to be a story, as those are the same soldiers who are repressing the aboriginal groups.

Meanwhile, the government refuses to sit down and talk. Security Minister José Raúl Mulino, has started attacking priests of the Catholic Church, ready to serve as mediators. The tone of the government in handling this crisis is the same that he has developed during his administration: lying and lying. He thought that by cutting off  communications people would not find out about the slaughter, but some media and independent groups took the task of describing the facts.

There is widespread outrage. More than 80 percent of the population rejects the government. Other sectors are already mobilizing and we all see a confrontation of predictable consequences between the Defense Forces and the Panamanians. Martinelli has added Noriega-era soldiers to his military government. I make a new solidarity appeal to the international community. Panamanians have traditionally been a peaceful people, but the current president, due to his excessive ambition for money and his psychiatric disorders, wants to see the blood of his countrymen.

Mauro Zúñiga Arauz


Also in this section:
Editorials: Volume 18; Thug rant; and Arnulfo's bones and Floyd's
Harrington, Annus Horribilis
Waters, Occupy
Thurston, Comparing two Panama Cities
Wiese, The sensei
Inter-American Press Association, Freedom of the press in 2011
Bloice, Obama's ominous arming of despots in the Gulf
Lara, Martinelli lashes out at media owners for reporting about corruption
Frente Amplio por la Democracia, About the election laws
Keller, Antisemites and kindergartens
Shah, Put Baby Doc on trial
Gandásegui, Martinelli and the business dinosaurs
Baker, Budget balancers and global warmers
Valencia, Chávez's illness: is the left all right in Venezuela?
Human Rights Foundation, Three years in jail and $40 million fine for journalist
Bruce, First in the Nation
Payne, Panama president tries to silence the press
Beale, Peace Corps safety measures
Perkins, Policy to kill emerging countries' economies
Jackson, An astounding environmental mockery
Zamora, Military maneuvers in the country without an army
Mast, Amanda
April 10th Movement, Barro Blanco promoters' bid to dispossess a community
Sirias, A hero from the Golden Era
Letters to the editor

Left Wing PublicationsRight Wing Publications

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© 2012 by Eric Jackson
All Rights Reserved - Todos Derechos Reservados
Individual contributors retain the rights to their articles or photos

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phone: (507) 6-632-6343

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Eric Jackson
att'n The Panama News
Apartado 0831-00927 Estafeta Paitilla
Panamá, República de Panamá

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