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Monday, September 23 2019 @ 09:31 am EDT

Panama's Most Wanted - Cristóbal Salerno

Crime & Punishment The Auxiliary Office of the Public Prosecutor sent a request to the Immigration Office on 16 May to prevent businessman Cristóbal Salerno Ballesta from leaving the country, and ordered his arrest due to his suspected connection to the discovery of a shipment of explosives at a company called "Servicios de Promociones Norma González" in Calidonia on 12 May. Immigration Director Ricardo Vargas said he has issued instructions to all Immigration employees working at the Tocumen and Albrook airports, as well as the Paso Canoa border crossing with Costa Rica to be on the watch for Salerno. So far there have been no reports indicating Salerno has left the country. "Salerno last left Panama in February and returned in March of this year", said Vargas. In responding to rumors that Salerno is in Italy, Vargas said "If he left the country it was not through normal channels." The Director of the Judicial Technical Police (PTJ) Jaime Jácome confirmed that Salerno is still in Panama because there are no official reports that he has left the country by the legal means. "If he left the country he snuck out", said Jácome.

He said that the PTJ is monitoring all exit points to capture Salerno.

"He should turn himself in."

Ana Matilde Gomez, Attorney General of the Nation, said Salerno should turn himself in to the authorities to clarify his legal status in this case.

Francisco Sánchez Cárdenas said that Salerno was a member of the group, together with Mitchel Doens and Ernesto Perez Balladares, who managed to return the PRD to power in the 1994 elections.

Cárdenas said he always saw Salerno as a visionary businessman, and never as a criminal.

"Salerno liked to collect guns, but not traffic them" he added.

(Editor's Comment: What? This guy had 191 hand grenades, seven blocks of C-4, and TNT. So, I guess he likes to collect weapons, just like Pedro Miguel Gonzalez. Pedro was able to kill 19-year-old US serviceman Zak Hernandez with an AK-47. Zak was killed in 1992 on the eve of President Bush's visit to Panama, his first visit to the country after ordering the invasion of Panama in 1989. It was clear that the murder of Zak Hernandez was a political statement, made by a politician who justified his actions and did not consider himself to be a terrorist. Pedro's father was the President of the PRD political party at the time, and was also the President of the National Assembly. Pedro and two others were eventually acquitted of the charges in a trial that involved the intimidation of witnesses and judges. Basically, the PRD found a way to let Pedro out of jail, and the his father retired and "handed down" his seat in the National Assembly to his son. As a sitting assembly member, Pedro is protected from prosecution. Even though the murder weapon was found under his damn bed, and that was not enough to get him in La Joya for 20-years. Remember the line about "One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist?" There are extremist wackos in the PRD who are perfectly capable of murder. Pedro Gonzalez has, up to now, gotten away with the cold-blooded murder of a citizen of the United States of America who was serving his country in uniform, and everyone in Panama knows it. We in the United States have a long memory, Pedro. Stay nervous. And when was the last time Pedro Miguel Gonzalez was in the news? When he attended Hector Aleman's going-away lunch with other PRD power-players. Hey, let's build a new canal. I trust these guys with $8 billion dollars. This is the same Hector Aleman who is accused of stealing half of the money that was supposed to be spent to feed prisoners. Now, maybe he can steal some real money. http://www.forusa.org/programs/panama/archives/1297-1.htm)

José Luis Sosa who was Director of the National Police during the administration of Perez Balladares denied that he was the person who brought Salerno into the PRD.

Sosa said he knew Salerno, but never had a close personal friendship with him, and denied "bringing him to the PRD table."

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The Auxiliary Office of the public prosecutor filed charges against Cristóbal Salerno Ballesta for possession of military weapons. Salerno is an ex-president of the board of directors of the Caja de Ahorros (a bank owned and operated by the Panamanian government.) Salerno is also a prominent member of the PRD political party of Martin Torrijos.

Salerno is the owner of a company called "Servicios de Promociones Norma González" where the military weapons were found.

In the raid police units recovered 191 hand grenades, seven blocks of C-4, and two blocks of TNT.

The three women who worked at the company have been arrested.

These women are basically administrators and accountants.

The business is a kind of intermediary for obtaining loans in local banks.

The lawyers of the women who were arrested say that they were simply clerks and had not control over the entry and exit of the area where the arms were found, and have no relation to the weapons.

The agents from the public prosecutors office searched several properties looking for Salerno, but were not able to find him.

Punishment for this crime range between 6 to 10 years of prison.

The search of the business on 37th street in Calidonia took place at the request of Police Commissioner Brid who had reliable information that military arms were at the facility.

Salerno recently had a conflict with some Jewish business partners over a series of loans granted to Cuban companies. There have been a series of lawsuits and counter-suits.

Salerno was one of the biggest financial backers of Ernesto Balladares successful presidential election in 1994.

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La Fiscalía Auxiliar remitió a la Dirección de Migración, desde el 16 de mayo, una solicitud para impedir la salida del país del empresario Cristóbal Salerno Ballesta, luego que se ordenara la detención preventiva por su presunta vinculación al hallazgo de un cargamento de explosivos en la empresa Servicios de Promociones Norma González, ubicada en Calidonia, el pasado 12 de mayo.

Sobre el particular, Ricardo Vargas, director de Migración, dijo que se les ha girado instrucciones a todos los funcionarios de servicio en los aeropuertos de Tocumen y de Albrook, y en el puesto fronterizo de Paso Canoa, para que estén alerta. Hasta el momento no hay reportes que indiquen que Salerno salió del país.

"La última salida de Salerno registrada de forma legal fue en febrero y regresó en marzo de este año", dijo Vargas sin señalar el destino de este viaje.

No obstante, ante los rumores de que Salerno Ballesta se encuentra en Italia, Vargas dijo que "si salió del país no fue por los conductos regulares".

En tanto, Jaime Jácome, director de la Policía Técnica Judicial (PTJ), confirmó que el empresario se encuentra en Panamá porque no hay ningún reporte oficial que indique que abandonó el territorio nacional por los conductos legales.

"Si salió del país fue de forma irregular", afirmó Jácome.

El jefe de la PTJ indicó que se mantiene la vigilancia en todos los puntos de salida para capturar a Salerno.

"Que se entregue"

Ana Matilde Gómez, procuradora general de la Nación, expresó que este debe entregarse a las autoridades y aclarar su estatus legal en el caso."El que no la debe, no la teme", recalcó la jefa del Ministerio Público.

De igual manera, el perredista Francisco Sánchez Cárdenas dijo que Salerno formó parte del grupo que integraban, además, Mitchel Doens y Ernesto Pérez Balladares, que logró devolver al PRD al poder en las elecciones de 1994.

Cárdenas expresó que siempre vio a Salerno como unempresario visionario, pero nunca como un delincuente.

"A Salerno le gustaba coleccionar armas, pero no para traficarlas", agregó.

A su vez, José Luis Sosa, ex director de la Policía Nacional durante el gobierno de Pérez Balladares, negó que él fue quien llevó a Salerno al PRD.

Sosa dijo que conocía a Salerno, pero nunca tuvo una relación de amistad estrecha con el empresario, y mucho menos como para "llevarlo de la mano al PRD".

http://www.prensa.com/hoy/panorama/611238.html

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Perredista tenía 191 granadas


Florencio Gálvez F. | Crítica en Línea



La Fiscalía Auxiliar formuló cargos a un expresidente de la junta directiva de la Caja de Ahorros y miembro del gobernante Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD), por posesión de armas de guerra.

El sujeto en cuestión sería el dueño de la compañía Servicios de Promociones Norma González, donde se encontraron las armas, incluyendo 191 granadas y siete barras de explosivo plástico C-4 y dos de TNT.

Hasta ahora hay detenidos tres mujeres que desempeñaban labor administrativa en el local y un contador. El negocio es una especie de intermediario para la obtención de préstamos en bancos locales.

Los abogados de los detenidos sostienen que éstos eran oficinistas y ninguno tenía el control de ingreso y salida del área donde se ubicaron las armas, por lo que no guardan relación con el ilícito.

La Fiscalía allanó varias propiedades en busca del empresario, pero sin resultados. Por el delito en cuestión las penas oscilan entre 6 a 10 años de prisión.

El allanamiento al establecimiento ubicado en calle 37, Calidonia, se produjo a petición del comisionado Brid, de la Policía, a la Fiscalía, bajo el argumento de que existían informes confiables de la existencia de armas de guerra.

El hombre, blanco de la investigación, tuvo hace poco un conflicto con unos socios hebreos, debido a una serie de créditos otorgados a empresas cubanas, lo cual se ha traducido en demandas y contrademandas.

Este perredista fue uno de los grandes financistas de la campaña electoral de 1994.






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