Rock Cafe in Marbella Ordered Closed
Wednesday, June 11 2008 @ 12:20 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: I recently was contacted by the owner of a bar, an American who had sunk about $250,000 into the place in renovations and other investments before opening. He alleges that during the process he was approached by the local representative who wanted a bribe of $5,000. They refused to pay the bribe, and then later they were allegedly targeted by local authorities regarding complaints for fights, noise, traffic, etc. Eventually, the Mayor of Panama City ordered the bar closed. And now, the Mayor has ordered the Rock Cafe closed as well.
Pay The Bribe, or Not? So, what do you do when you are approached by a local authority who is trying to squeeze you for a bribe? In the case of the American operating the bar, the lesson is that if he had paid the bribe he probably would still be operating. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way condoning paying bribes, but business operators often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. In hindsight the bar owner could have filed a criminal complaint against the representative (before he was closed). Now, it sounds like sour grapes. His only other recourse is to appeal the Mayor's decision through the legal process, which could take years.
Nasty Waters: These are hard currents in which to swim. The nightlife and bar business is all done in cash, making it a great place for drug traffickers to launder money - the bar actually takes in $30,000 a night but they deposit $60,000 - the remainder is cash being laundered. Also, every little local official wants a "cut" of the action in order to stay on the sidelines. Before you can even open you have to pay off a whole string of officials in order to get your licenses to operate. Once you are open, then they can just come in and make some allegations (true or not) in order to gain leverage to either make you pay more, or shut you down. In short, it's like snorkeling in a septic tank.
LA ALCALDÍA DE PANAMÁ
Ordenan cierre de discoteca Rock Café
La famosa y concurrida discoteca Rock Café, ubicada en Marbella fue cerrada tras la orden dada por la Alcaldía de Panamá, esto debido a los actos violentos ocurridos en días pasados.
De igual forma se ha informado que los operativos se harán con mayor intensidad a partir de este jueves 12 de junio en áreas como Marbella y Calle Uruguay, lugares en donde se han registrado la venta y consumo de drogas, mucha violencia y congestionamiento de las vías.
En estos operativos participaran unidades de la Policía Nacional, Tránsito, Dirección de Migración y miembros de las corregidurías.