Bernal, THIS role reversal is perverse — and deadly

Perhaps a citizen’s cry can warn of the presence of a hidden or unknown danger. –Simón Bolívar

They go on sowing winds…

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

Three years ago I called attention to national events in the same terms that, today, I allow myself to reproduce with the only observation that things have gotten dramatically worse. Everything indicates that they will continue to get worse.

The most serious of the multiple cases of corruption of public servants – which have not stopped popping up in recent years in Panama — is the lack of will to investigate, prosecute and punish. The Odebrecht case is just the tip of the iceberg.

This shows an attitude and behavior of complicity and concealment on the part of the Public Ministry and of the competent authorities. It goes beyond the social scourge that characterizes corruption and is its inseparable partner: impunity.

The absence of a determined citizen reaction to contain the damage, make corrections and regenerate public life serves as fertilizer and nutrient for the power brokers, who control the government institutions. They think that they can continue sowing winds. Yes, but they will reap whirlwinds of violence. “The duty of statesmen, analysts and polemicists is to be attentive to the factors that can produce it and suggest means to prevent it before it destroys innocent people with its maelstrom, as happened in Panama at the beginning of the 20th century, ” Carlos Guevara Mann said with great reason.

For a long time now, the notions of the common good, the defense of the general interest and service to fellow citizens seem to have been expelled from public life. We must act in unison to reincorporate them, to truly improve our social norms. Otherwise we will find ourselves without public institutions and, it must be said, without the human resources to be a society.

The transmutation of roles between politicians and civil servants has been generating an institutional cross-dressing. We get politicians who deal ever more with roles belonging to functionaries, and functionaries whose roles are ever more political. competences”.

This absurd role reversal has no name in Panama, but it’s deadly.


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