First Lady wants head of Supreme Court thrown in jail

Doña Lorena
I’m not going to erase. This country is full of thieves and cowards who nauseate me. And he who doesn’t shout and fight, it’s because he is on the lists or has family and friends on them. Jail for Ayú Prado and those who loot this country.

The first lady joins the anti-corruption campaign in a most strident way

by Eric Jackson

Lorena Castillo de Varela is a journalist by profession and is much less cautious in her public pronouncements than is her husband, President Juan Carlos Varela. Every individual is different and we should not presume that she speaks for her husband or the he’s annoyed when she expresses an opinion different from his own. Without trying to pry into their marriage or other aspects of their private lives or personal opinions, however, let us first recognize the different roles: he is president of Panama and she is not. While he has kept a low profile in the issue, for example, she has campaigned for the rights of lesbians, gay men, the transgendered and bisexuals. In Panama that’s still a controversial position, even to the point that perhaps her husband is president because the PRD candidate was queer-baited.

This time, with much of the wealthy establishment now having joined in the protests against impunity in the Odebrecht case, Doña Lorena has weighed in with some Instagram posts. It started with a long one, in which she weighed in on the situation in general and the presiding magistrate of the Supreme Court, José Ayú Prado, in particular:

Lorena's initial rant
I love my country, love my people but today is one of those days that fills me with shame. The Odebrecht case closed when in Brazil they confessed to everything. Where are the brave voices now? I’m nobody and I want to be outside the court now, shouting with all my might. Thieves! How nauseous all this, and the waste of time makes me., for this this little group of hoodlums re-elected him, and what a message for everyone and our kids. And to shift to a partial bus strike to distract from the real news. I would wait through the dawn at Ayú Prado’s house, as a journalist, so that he could explain to me how everything about Panama was confessed in Brazil yet here the are let go after all those proofs have been delivered. The time and resources of the Public Ministry — the swinish court has mocked the country. Ayú Prado goes down in history as a coward. And if we keep watching this show, all of Panama too.

After this first message, the first lady received some criticism that this is a pretty intemperate thing for someone in her position to say, and advice that she erase it. Which led to the retort at the top of this page, in which she escalated her attack.

So does her husband pick up several points in the polls? And does this lay to rest the word of two well-placed witnesses that Odebrecht gave money to his campaign too? Those are separate questions.

At the moment, however, Panama is an international laughing stock, Lorena Castillo de Varela’s news judgment about the importance of the Odebrecht case for Panama and in the opinions of Panamanians is quite astute. The country edges toward a possible constitutional impasse over corruption and Doña Lorena spins no fake news.


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