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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