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The Panama News blog links, December 6, 2021

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The Panama News blog links

a bilingual Panama-centric selection of other people’s work
una selección bilingüe Panamá-céntrica de las obras de otras personas
If you are not bilingual Google Translate usually works
Si no eres bilingüe, el traductor de Google generalmente funciona

Canal, Maritime & Transportation / Canal, Marítima & Transporte

Nautilus, PanCanal working conditions could affect international trade

Seatrade, PanCanal announces greenhouse gas emissions fee

La Estrella, Panamá recupera el 85% de su conectividad mundial

El Siglo, Panamá inaugura ruta eléctrica

Telemetro, Panamá suspende ingreso de personas de ocho países africanos

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The Electric Route: the governments of Panama and Costa Rica have agreed, and have brought in some private businesses, to create a chain of electric charging stations so that people with electric vehicles will be able to travel between San Jose and Panama City without their batteries running out.

Economy / Economía

La Estrella, Migración de estudiantes obliga a invertir en docentes y escuelas

TVN, Crisis de contenedores afecta la llegada de cebolla a Panamá

La Estrella, Cobre Panamá entre las 10 mayores minas del mundo

Wei, Digital finance without cryptocurrencies

Stiglitz et al, A Brazilian senator’s proposal to end vaccine shortages

Weisbrot, The IMF and special drawing rights

Gordon, The graveyard shift

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Bat pups. Photo by Teague O’Mara, from STRI’s Twitter feed.

Science & Technology / Ciencia & Tecnología

La Prensa, SENACYT: “Hay un repunte y hay que poner atención”

BBC, Ocean garbage patch is an immense plastic habitat

Human Rights Watch, Mass surveillance fuels oppression

BBC, Trigger of rare blood clots with AstraZeneca jab found by scientists

The Washington Post, Twitter’s new CEO announces major reorganization

Prensa Latina, Carlos Finlay’s legacy in Panama

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The October arrest in a Colombian jungle hideout of Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, alias Otoniel, decapitated the Gulf Clan, a major international drug gang descended from the right-wing AUC death squad paramilitaries that were once de facto Plan Colombia allies of the United States. It was just the beginning of that outfit’s disaster. The bochinche is that Otoniel is now providing information to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. There have been many raids in Panama and in Colombia, with information about them carefully managed by governments — or by some accounts, just the US government. Tens of millions of dollars in cash and property have been confiscated and dozens are under arrest. This is a Colombian government photo of Otoniel under arrest.

News / Noticias

El Siglo, Minsa prohíbe los desfiles navideños para evitar contagios

AFP, Record drug money bust in Panama: $10 million in cash

El Universal, EEUU entregó vehículos blindados a las fuerzas militares de Colombia

The Guardian, Mia Mottley: on a mission to transform Barbados

The New York Times, Pegasus spyware used on US Embassy employees in Uganda

The Washington Post, Ammosexual GOP congressman offends

Wired, Peng Shuai and the real goal of Chinese censorship

Ms., “Tracking the backlash” — organized opposition to reproductive rights

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Opinion / Opiniones

Federici, Standing with nurses is a feminist project

Mueller, Can the center hold any meaning?

Khrushcheva, Send out the clowns

Boff, The future depends on us now

Castañeda, Fracaso Bicentenario

Santamaría, ¿Constituyente o protectorado?

Sáez Llorens, La trivialización del delito

Turner, Bicentenario, pacto y constituyente

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Blades caracteriza a Maduro. Para ver el video, toque aquí.

Culture / Cultura

Variety, Where is film production in Central America and the Caribbean heading?

Screen Daily: Panama’s Oscar submission, Plaza Catedral

BBC, Nocturnes and Max Richter: The best music for falling asleep

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The heinous conspiracy EXPOSED! Would Q lie to you?
 

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CIAM, Las ley y el contrato con la minera

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La Economía Azul

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break wall
Rompeolas de la Ciudad de Colón Foto por Sean Mattson — STRI.

Hacia una economía azul sostenible en Panamá

por STRI

Un foro virtual organizado por el BID y STRI, exploró los retos y oportunidades de Panamá para lograr una gestión sostenible de sus recursos marinos que estimule el desarrollo económico, sostenga los medios de vida y preserve la biodiversida.

El martes pasado, el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo en conjunto con el Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales (STRI) realizaron el foro virtual “Hacia la Economía Azul Sostenible en Panamá: Retos y Oportunidades”, con el apoyo del Ministerio de Ambiente, la Cámara Marítima de Panamá y la Autoridad de Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (ARAP).

“La economía azul relaciona el uso, la gestión y la conservación sostenible de los recursos marinos a través de actividades que propician el desarrollo económico y la mejora de los medios de vida, a la vez que preservan la riqueza de la biodiversidad. Sus modelos -innovadores y tecnológicos- pueden ofrecer soluciones para satisfacer un incremento responsable del consumo de manera sostenible y de forma resiliente al clima, manteniendo una armonización restauradora, regenerativa y resiliente en términos económicos, ambientales y sociales”, explicó Gonzalo Rivas, jefe de la División de Competitividad, Tecnología e Innovación en el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo.

“Panamá mira hacia el mar, para el turismo, la pesca, el transporte marítimo, la protección de la infraestructura, mucho más, y un futuro marino sostenible será fundamental para una próspera economía panameña en el futuro. Y es justo decir que el futuro de la economía azul de Panamá seguirá dependiendo de las conexiones profundas entre la ciencia y las políticas públicas y la ciencia de STRI debe continuar respaldando las decisiones que tenemos por delante”, destacó el director de STRI, Joshua Tewksbury, en sus palabras de bienvenida.

El evento contó con la participación del vocero internacional Michael B. Jones, presidente de TMA BlueTech, una asociación industrial sin fines de lucro que promueve industrias marinas sostenibles basadas en la ciencia, quien profundizó sobre el concepto de Economía Azul y presentó iniciativas de éxito que pueden ser replicables para Panamá.

Adicionalmente, expertos del sector público y privado brindaron su visión respecto a una política de la Economía Azul para Panamá. Eustorgio Jaén, jefe del departamento de Economía Ambiental de la dirección de Política Ambiental de MiAmbiente presentó sobre los instrumentos de gestión ambiental de recursos marino-costeros en Panamá que se encuentran en proceso de aprobación, como la política nacional de océanos y el plan de acción nacional de basura marina.

Darío López, director nacional de investigación y desarrollo de la Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá, expuso algunos de los principales problemas que debe enfrentar el país para lograr una Economía Azul. Por su parte, René Gómez, de la Cámara Marítima de Panamá, presentó sobre las ventajas y estrategias para la implementación del turismo sostenible o azul en Panamá.

En representación de STRI, el biólogo marino Héctor Guzmán brindó una ponencia titulada “¿Cómo sería la economía azul panameña sin ballenas?”, en la que destacó el papel ecológico que juegan las ballenas en la productividad de los océanos y en su capacidad para secuestrar carbono.

“Las ballenas son como tener un gran navío capturando carbono conforme se mueven por los océanos. Tienen la capacidad de acumular más de 33 toneladas de dióxido de carbono en 60 años que es el promedio de vida de una ballena”, resaltó Guzmán.

Y respecto a este punto agregó: “Economistas del Fondo Monetario Internacional nos han dicho que cada ballena podría tener un valor de 2 millones de dólares.”

“La actividad en mares y océanos tiene una alta relevancia para países como Panamá, con extensas costas, y puede ser un motor que apoye la recuperación de los países luego de la crisis, pero es importante promover un diálogo que involucre al sector público, sector privado y academia para trazar en conjunto una hoja de ruta que permita maximizar su potencial de manera responsable y sostenible. Este encuentro es el inicio de un importante diálogo sobre el futuro de la economía azul en Panamá”, apuntó Rocío Medina Bolívar, Representante del Grupo BID en Panamá.

 

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¿Wappin? Criminals / Delincuentes

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LEML
By definition, now that his guilty plea is in. There are limits to its use in other cases, but this man, in an open court in Brooklyn, accepted that he conspired to launder some $28 million in bribe money paid by Odebrecht and meant for his father, former president Ricardo Martinelli. So, should people who dislike his dad laugh? Should we mock? There is a hole in one’s humanity if you do that. Exposure to extremist US criminal laws and time served in prison are always tragedies rather than laughing matters. Those who have been locked up will tend to know how complicated it tends to be, and how many routes and stories lead to the misfortune. But then, here in Panama we will have decisions to make. Luis Enrique photo by Ruperto Miller. Para obtener una versión en español de este título, toque aquí. 

Outlaws and offenders
Forajidos y delincuentes 

Janis Joplin – Ball and Chain
https://youtu.be/r5If816MhoU

Jimi Hendrix – I Don’t Live Today
https://youtu.be/IYpyvAe45QM

Natalie Merchant – I’m Not the Man
https://youtu.be/5YUg1QZ3sWY

Marianne Faithfull – Witches’ Song
https://youtu.be/Kq3fBKGDIOw

Hello Seahorse! – Criminal
https://youtu.be/3isv2xskFEw

Spice & Vybz Kartel – Conjugal Visit
https://youtu.be/INAqa1PUfTk

The Robins – Riot In Cell Block #9
https://youtu.be/_0qN6EBrhPU

Bessie Smith – Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair
https://youtu.be/EC9fDrjz8xM

Bryan Adams – Heat Of The Night
https://youtu.be/x2bE6jzACFQ

Nelson Ned – El Preso Número 9
https://youtu.be/0VwqvvgSOXc

Prince – Free
https://youtu.be/AQ7xxQB8Ujw

Joan Baez – Mary Hamilton
https://youtu.be/jvlhrJGaw-w

Third World – 1865
https://youtu.be/UwlUY3AQd2Q

Carlos Martínez – El Presidiario
https://youtu.be/gkAdQF42em8

Flora Purim – Nothing Will Be As It Was
https://youtu.be/Jep-IU0FO78

U2 – Van Diemen’s Land
https://youtu.be/JH–gsxE-OE

John Sinclair Freedom Rally – full movie
https://youtu.be/eqbHsUcuN6I

* A note about “outlaws:” In the history of the Common Law legal systems, outlaws were not necessarily criminals. They were — and are — persons declared or treated as outside the protection of the law. In the old days of England, they were sometimes relatives of the monarch who might have be in a position to claim the throne, or a place in line to do so. Lower down the ranks of society, they could be political or religious dissidents of many sorts. The classic instruction about this is the Robin Hood legend. A noble supporter of Richard the Lionhearted when his brother John was trying to consolidate his hold on power as King Richard was crusading, then imprisoned abroad, Robin Hood took to the forest and with his band of supporters and lived by poaching and theft. This set of legends — and also the King Arthur stories — came into English literature with the rise of English nationalism and rejection of the Norman ascendency. It was a centuries-long process, a major legal milestone of which was the forced acceptance of the Magna Carta by John in 1215.

 

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Hightower, Rethinking work — and life

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take this job and shove it
Americans are quitting bad jobs in record numbers because they’re rethinking what matters. Shutterstock graphic.

A sea change in people’s attitude about work itself — and life

by Jim Hightower — OtherWords

As a writer, I get stuck every so often straining for the right words to tell my story. Over the years, though, I’ve learned when to quit tying myself into mental knots over sentence construction. Instead, I step back and rethink where my story is going.

This process is essentially what millions of American working families are going through this year as record numbers of them are shocking bosses, politicians, and economists by stepping back and declaring: “We quit!”

Most of the quits are tied to very real abuses that have become ingrained in our workplaces over the past couple of decades — poverty paychecks, no health care, unpredictable schedules, no child care, understaffing, forced overtime, unsafe jobs, sexist and racist managers, aggressively rude customers, and so much more.

Specific grievances abound, but at the core of each is a deep, inherently destructive executive-suite malignancy: disrespect.

The corporate system has cheapened employees from valuable human assets worthy of being nurtured and advanced to a bookkeeping expense that must be steadily eliminated. It’s not just about paychecks. It’s about feeling valued — feeling that the hierarchy gives a damn about the people doing the work.

Yet corporate America is going out of its way to show that it doesn’t care — and, of course, workers notice. So unionization is booming, millions who were laid off by the pandemic are refusing to rush back to the same old grind, and now millions who have jobs are quitting.

This is much more than an unusual unemployment stat. It’s a sea change in people’s attitude about work itself — and life.

People are rethinking where their story is going and how they can take it in a better direction. Yes, nearly everyone will eventually return to work, but workers themselves have begun redefining the job and rebalancing it with life.

 

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Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz — Colombia: Tres alertas

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Graphic from the Colombian commission's Twitter feed
Los hechos narrados en el informe evidencian que, de los delitos más graves contra esta población en el conflicto armado, el peor fue la violencia sexual usada como una práctica sistemática utilizada para corregir, enderezar y asumir su rol de nacimiento frente a sus víctimas. Pintura encargada por la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz.

Mecanismo de Monitoreo de Riesgos
emite sus tres primeras alertas

comunicado del Sistema Integral Para La Paz – Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz

• Se evidencia un debilitamiento de la autoridad del Estado, crece la presencia de las disidencias y hay una reorganización de grupos herederos del paramilitarismo en los territorios.
• La JEP, la Comisión de la Verdad y la UBPD exploran caminos que garanticen la no repetición de los crímenes padecidos por los colombianos durante 60 años de conflicto.

San Jacinto, 2 de diciembre de 2021. En 100 municipios es crítica la situación de riesgo debido al debilitamiento de la autoridad del Estado, el aumento de la presencia de disidencias de las extintas Farc-EP en 172 territorios y la reorganización de grupos herederos del paramilitarismo. Estas fueron las tres alertas que este martes emitió la Unidad de Investigación y Acusación de la JEP, durante el lanzamiento del Mecanismo Unificado de Monitoreo de Riesgos del Sistema Integral para la Paz.

Durante el evento, que se llevó a cabo en San Jacinto (Bolívar), la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, la Comisión de la Verdad y la Unidad de Búsqueda de Personas dadas por Desaparecidas, presentaron la herramienta que servirá de brújula para alertar sobre los riesgos, dar a conocer las atrocidades del conflicto y para que el Estado tome las medidas que sean necesarias.

A través de esta plataforma pública, las tres entidades trabajan por contar con mayores herramientas para mitigar los riegos de los colombianos que participan activamente del modelo de justicia transicional. De acuerdo con el informe, desde la firma del Acuerdo de Paz 326 excombatientes de las Farc-EP y 1.026 líderes sociales han sido asesinados. La muerte de cada uno de ellos priva a las víctimas de materializar sus derechos a la justicia y a la verdad plena.

“Esta herramienta no reemplaza los propios mecanismos de defensa que están en cabeza del Estado”, advirtió el magistrado Eduardo Cifuentes, presidente de la JEP. A su juicio, es necesario que “las demás autoridades tomen nota de las alertas para que adopten las medidas correspondientes”, manifestó tras recordar que el Sistema solicitó a la Defensoría del Pueblo adoptar una resolución defensorial que trace una hoja de ruta para ponerle fin a los crímenes.

Por su parte, el padre Francisco de Roux, presidente de la Comisión de la Verdad, hizo un llamado “para que los alcaldes protejan a su gente” ya que “lo que está en juego y nuestra única razón para existir como instituciones del Sistema Integral para la Paz es la responsabilidad por la vida”.

Sobre esa misma orilla se paró Nadia Pérez, vocera de la Unidad de Búsqueda de Personas dadas por Desaparecidas. “Este sistema nos ha permitido identificar los riesgos para la vida y libertad para los familiares, acompañantes, aportantes de información, como los firmantes del Acuerdo de Paz. Esto nos permite identificar los riesgos, contrastarlos con ustedes en territorio para prevenirlos y mitigarlos”.

¿Cuáles son las tres alertas?

Ante un grupo de líderes sociales de la región de Montes de María, la delegada del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD), la Misión de Verificación de la ONU, Pastoral Social, la Mapp/OEA, el Instituto Kroc, el Instituto Capaz y la Consejería Presidencial para los Derechos Humanos, el director de la Unidad de Investigación y Acusación (UIA) de la JEP, Giovanni Álvarez, presentó los detalles del nuevo informe.

La primera alerta indica que en 100 municipios de Colombia se está derrumbando de forma peligrosa la autoridad del Estado. Entre ellos, Álvarez se refirió a Maicao, Segovia, Ituango, Tibú, Ocaña, El Tarra, Jamundí, Fortul, Puerto Leguízamo, Suárez, Buenos Aires, La Macarena, Montelíbano, Santander de Quilichao, Tumaco, Buenaventura y Argelia, como algunos de los municipios donde la situación es más grave.

La segunda alerta tiene que ver con que “Colombia está experimentando una fase de reorganización de núcleos históricos del paramilitarismo: el Clan del Golfo y nuevas agrupaciones que reivindican las siglas de las AUC y el BCB han copado 1 de cada 4 municipios, y tienen una actividad significativa en subregiones como Urabá antioqueño, Bajo Atrato, Alto Sinú, sur de Bolívar, Sierra nevada, sur del Cesar, Risaralda/norte del Valle (La Virginia-Cartago)Magdalena medio antioqueño, caldense y santandereano.

Finalmente, Álvarez advirtió que las disidencias de las Farc-EP son el conjunto de organizaciones reincidentes o desertoras que más han crecido en Colombia, constituyendo el principal riesgo de victimización para quienes dejaron las armas. En ese sentido, dijo que “la presencia simultánea de las disidencias de ‘Gentil Duarte’ y la Segunda Marquetalia aumenta más de tres veces la probabilidad de asesinatos” de miembros de la extinta guerrilla.

A través del Mecanismo Unificado de Monitoreo de Riesgos del Sistema Integral para la Paz, que emitirá informes periódicos para el país y las autoridades competentes, tanto la JEP, la Comisión de la Verdad, como la UBPD, exploran caminos que garanticen la no repetición de los crímenes vividos por los colombianos durante 60 años de conflicto armado.

 

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What the sports world is saying about Peng Shuai

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Women’s Tennis Association chairman Steve Simon’s statement:

When on November 2, 2021, Peng Shuai posted an allegation of sexual assault against a top Chinese government official, the Women’s Tennis Association recognized that Peng Shuai’s message had to be listened to and taken seriously. The players of the WTA, not to mention women around the world, deserve nothing less.

From that moment forward, Peng Shuai demonstrated the importance of speaking out, particularly when it comes to sexual assault, and especially when powerful people are involved. As Peng said in her post, “Even if it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.” She knew the dangers she would face, yet she went public anyway. I admire her strength and courage.

Since then, Peng’s message has been removed from the internet and discussion of this serious issue has been censored in China. Chinese officials have been provided the opportunity to cease this censorship, verifiably prove that Peng is free and able to speak without interference or intimidation, and investigate the allegation of sexual assault in a full, fair and transparent manner. Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation. The WTA has been clear on what is needed here, and we repeat our call for a full and transparent investigation – without censorship – into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.

None of this is acceptable nor can it become acceptable. If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded – equality for women – would suffer an immense setback. I will not and cannot let that happen to the WTA and its players.

As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong. In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault. Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.

I have been gratified by the massive amount of international support the WTA has received for its position on this matter. To further protect Peng and many other women throughout the world, it is more urgent than ever for people to speak out. The WTA will do everything possible to protect its players. As we do so, I hope leaders around the world will continue to speak out so justice can be done for Peng, and all women, no matter the financial ramifications.

I very much regret it has come to this point. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are full of great people with whom we have worked for many years. They should be proud of their achievements, hospitality and success. However, unless China takes the steps we have asked for, we cannot put our players and staff at risk by holding events in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no choice. I remain hopeful that our pleas will be heard and the Chinese authorities will take steps to legitimately address this issue.

 

International Olympic Committee statement on the situation of Peng Shuai

02 Dec 2021 – We share the same concern as many other people and organizations about the well-being and safety of Peng Shuai. This is why, just yesterday, an IOC team held another video call with her. We have offered her wide-ranging support, will stay in regular touch with her, and have already agreed on a personal meeting in January.

There are different ways to achieve her well-being and safety. We have taken a very human and person-centred approach to her situation. Since she is a three-time Olympian, the IOC is addressing these concerns directly with Chinese sports organisations. We are using “quiet diplomacy” which, given the circumstances and based on the experience of governments and other organisations, is indicated to be the most promising way to proceed effectively in such humanitarian matters.

The IOC’s efforts led to a half-hour videoconference with Peng Shuai on 21 November, during which she explained her situation and appeared to be safe and well, given the difficult situation she is in. This was reconfirmed in yesterday’s call. Our human and person-centred approach means that we continue to be concerned about her personal situation and will continue to support her.

 

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English translation of Peng Shuai’s Chinese-language tweet for which the Chinese Communist Party has retaliated

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For a larger-type version of Pëng’s statement above, click here.
 

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Fundación Libertad, About Panamanian justice

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Them
Them.

Panamanian justice: between doubt and disappointment

by the Fundación Libertad

Our system of justice is in crisis, but this is no surprise. We live in a country where people’s basic rights get violated with impunity, the politician and the communications media accuse each other of corruption, while public property is vandalized under the pretext of social experiments. Confidence in the justice system is ever less.

Panamanians are so used to the stumbles of governments that nothing that happens surprises, but disappointment for those doesn’t stop.

The most painful example of this reality is the electronic eavesdropping case. Regardless of its technical procedural aspects, whether or not there was negligence in the handling of the case by the authorities, we Panamanians had hoped that this case would be an example of transparency and justice. Unfortunately it was not. With this case, it has apparently been confirmed to Panamanians that justice is selective, disorderly, and ineffective.

Beyond all that, our country’s weak institutional framework seems to be in harmony with its international reputation, in which we are constantly portrayed as as a country where the authorities are not capable of maintaining order and administering justice. More and more, voices are coming together crying out for “help” from outside, to put our house in order and for justice to be done.

From a liberal perspective, we demand transparency and clarity in criminal proceedings, as well as respect for due process, to guarantee impartial justice without special privileges or immunities, as the law requires.

 

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The buzz about the capital…

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A reader sent this. Looks like an ad for Red Bull, for which we are not getting paid and don’t endorse. Looks dangerous. And fun… If you have trouble seeing the above video, click here
 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.  

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Editorials: An independent existence; and A bankrupt OAS

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1964
To the extent that Panama enjoys any measure of dignified independence, we owe a great deal to this 1964 generation of student protesters and to an earlier one who marched against a demeaning proposed treaty in 1947.

After the parades

The Panama News recently heard a rumor, via a reader who said that she heard it from an employee of a subcontractor. A major part of of Panama’s vital electrical grid would soon be sold to “The Chinese.” If there’s any truth to that, it couldn’t be confirmed by The Panama News.

Well, WHAT IF some great power acquired the ability to switch off our lights in the instant of a political decision? Don’t at least eight countries in this world have the power to fry out not only our electrical grid but most of the things that run on it, by setting off an electro-nuclear pulse bomb in space above our atmosphere? And as a nation don’t we have a legal system and a political caste who are still trying to slip away from coming to grips with the wholesale bribery of our political system – ALL major parties and players — by a state-sponsored Brazilian corporation? Don’t we still allow great powers to give us orders about which small nations can or can’t be our friends?

After parades without proper health measures in epidemic times, after the unveiling of many a sculpture (some of them truly ugly), after all the oddly evasive speeches about our history, isn’t there something else for Panama should  do to celebrate its independence?

How about EXERCISING it? How about becoming a proud and free nation of people who don’t sell one another to operatives giving out bags of groceries at election time or to corporations passing money under the table and promising jobs for some of those who don’t get any of that money?

We should not take pride in anything that an opaque administration has slapped the word “bicentennial” upon. Least of all the wretched “dialogues” aimed at lowering the standards of living of everybody but the very rich.

Let’s celebrate Panamanian independence by living that way, as a country and as individuals.

 

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Yet another OAS libel against an election result that some in
Washington didn’t want to see. From the OAS Twitter feed.

The OAS needs to transform or die

Yeah, yeah – ‘In The Big Picture you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet’ and all that. So the dozens of journalists, the dozens of environmentalists, the dozens of indigenous land and water rights defenders who were slain by the death squads of the US-backed Honduran regime were expendable. And if the whole in-crowd was coked out – more on the money from the trade than necessarily on the drug itself – Uncle Sam will consider his annoyance well enough demonstrated by US justice grabbing the president-by-fraud’s brother and getting him sentenced to life in prison.

US policy in Honduras may go without notice by the great number of Americans who couldn’t find the place on a map, but educated people throughout the Americas know rather exactly what has been going on.

Now the folks who were thrown out of power and made criminals by the 2009 coup have resoundingly won the Honduran elections, and here we have the Organization of American States – which is supposed to be the voice of the Americas – putting out scurrilous denials on its Twitter feed, in essence demanding yet another election fraud in Honduras.

Panama shouldn’t follow the OAS lead, it should say goodbye to the OAS.

After its performances in Bolivia and Honduras, responsible media should not play “he said, she said” with the OAS and somebody disputing its assertions, they should just ignore the OAS as an unreliable source.

It doesn’t mean that every country and every politician who does not get along with the OAS is all sweetness and light, but to promote peace, justice and democracy, and to represent the consensus of the hemisphere, that organization is not just deficient, it’s counter-productive.

How to move forward in an imperfect region of an imperfect world? A challenging set of questions. But now we know another of whom isn’t fit to answer them.

 

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                 Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

Elvis Presley                 

 

Bear in mind…

 

The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of emancipation itself.

Virginia Woolf

 

We get a lot of strength from many principles including reciprocity (you are me and I am you) and that gives us strength as women and this connection with life and the web we have among each other.

Aura Lolita Chávez

 

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

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