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Volume 18, Number 4
  April 26, 2012

Panama Spanish Schools in Bocas del Toro and in Boquete, by the beach and in the mountains

opinion

Also in this section:
Editorials: Resignations are in order; and Pat Summitt, the greatest there ever was
MPU, We demand Martinelli's removal
APLOMO, Taking it to the streets
Bernal, The Lavitola affair
Youngers, Drug law reform at the Summit of the Americas
Worley, Sex fantasies: what flavor are you?
Harrington, Left to right
Kotz, Mitt Romney: American parasite
Raskin, Romney's Borking strategy
Ruiz-Marrero, The grand botanical chess game
Weisbrot, Argentina's critics get it wrong again
Suver, The failure of US Latin America policy
Johnson, US priorities for meeting new hemispheric defense challenges
Dade, Canada's hemispheric security policies
Thurston, The artist and fundamentalism
Fischer, Which way forward out of the economic crisis?
Amnesty International, Remembering Levon Helm
Jackson, This year's US elections and Panama's American community
Keller, Holocaust deniers and access roads
Nobel laureates, Open letter about Tibet to Hu Jintao
Carlsen, The politics of the drug war in Mexico
Letters to the editor


Photo by the Presidencia

In light of new corruption charges

We demand Martinelli's removal from office

by the Unified Popular Movement (MPU)

A new scandal besets the government of Ricardo Martinelli. This time it deals with international reports coming from the prosecutor's office in Naples, Italy, which accuse him of having received bribes from the businessman Valter Lavitola, who is also accused in various corruption cases in that country. Due to its implications the affair has had repercussions in the news media around the world, which have called into question the honesty with which the Panamanian government handles state decisions.

This new scandal is one more in a long list of questionable situations and acts of dubious legality that surround Martinelli's right-wing business government over the past two years, but until now there has been little coverage in the international media. From the request to the US Embassy for equipment to spy on opponents, through the free giveaways of valuable lands by functionaries and friends of the administration (Paitilla, Juan Hombron, Santa Clara), and on to the accusations of bribery against his first Attorney General, and including his business relations with the notorious David Murcia before the 2009 election campaign, scandal has surrounded Martinelli's activities.

A few days before the latest denunciations came from Italy, President Martinelli was directly involved in a despicable act, when on Holy Thursday he threatened the inhabitants of the small community of Bahia Honda, in the corregimiento of Pixvae in Veraguas province, with being thrown in jail if they confront Italian businessman Jean Pigozzi, who is grabbing lands that belong to humble farmers in that area. The following day two farmers, Simón Morales and Aurelio Camaño, were illegally arrested and submitted to psychological pressures to renounce their land claims against Pigozzi, who is a friend of President Martinelli's.

To the sum of all of these acts must be added repeated human rights violations, the woundings and slayings of indigenous Ngabe and Bugle protesters who fought against the Chorizo Law (2010) and strip mining (2012); the racist statements of the president and his ministers; the dubious procedures of no-bid mega-projects; the imposition of neo-liberal economic policies; increases in taxes and the cost of living; the flagrant control over all branches of government by way of intimidation and bribery; and systematic violation of the laws and constitution. It leads to only one conclusion: it is necessary to demand the removal of President Martinelli from office, so that he can be investigated for these things.

The investigation can't be carried out by any of the institutions specified by the constitution, because all of those are controlled Mr. Martinelli's loyalists and there are no guarantees of independence and impartiality. Thus we in the MPU demand the naming of an Independing Investigating Committee, composed of honest people who are seen as such by the nation.

It is now impossible for the bourgeois parties of the misnamed "opposition," the yellow unions, the Catholic and Evangelical churches and the national news media who would like the appearance of "democratic normality" that does not exist. We demand that all of these sectors adopt an attitude appropriate to the gravity of the situation and join their voices to demand the removal of Martinelli from office, which is the only way for the country to avoid plunging into the ravine to which the road of autocracy and corruption leads.








    

Also in this section:
Editorials: Resignations are in order; and Pat Summitt, the greatest there ever was
MPU, We demand Martinelli's removal
APLOMO, Taking it to the streets
Bernal, The Lavitola affair
Youngers, Drug law reform at the Summit of the Americas
Worley, Sex fantasies: what flavor are you?
Harrington, Left to right
Kotz, Mitt Romney: American parasite
Raskin, Romney's Borking strategy
Ruiz-Marrero, The grand botanical chess game
Weisbrot, Argentina's critics get it wrong again
Suver, The failure of US Latin America policy
Johnson, US priorities for meeting new hemispheric defense challenges
Dade, Canada's hemispheric security policies
Thurston, The artist and fundamentalism
Fischer, Which way forward out of the economic crisis?
Amnesty International, Remembering Levon Helm
Jackson, This year's US elections and Panama's American community
Keller, Holocaust deniers and access roads
Nobel laureates, Open letter about Tibet to Hu Jintao
Carlsen, The politics of the drug war in Mexico
Letters to the editor


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