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Monday, September 23 2019 @ 02:47 am EDT

Conflict in the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP)

Corruption The former National Director of Inspection, Supervision and Control of the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP), Kriss Poveda, yesterday reported irregular handling of the Authority on the part of the Administrator of the ARAP, Diana Arauz. According Poveda, Arauz fired her from the ARAP on 16 June 2010 because she prohibited 17 ships from leaving port because they were involved in administrative processes being carried out by the ARAP. "Arauz said she was dismissing me because I was not a facilitator for the users," the former official complained. Poveda said the Administrator of the ARAP told her she was being removed from office by order of the President of the Republic. On exactly the day she was fired, Poveda was going to testify in proceedings against Arauz in the Public Ministry for alleged crimes against the public administration. The process started after Araúz ordered the release of a boat that Poveda fined $564,000 for finning sharks, a prohibited practice. La Prensa contacted Arauz, but after saying she would provide her version of event, she said she was awaiting the approval of the President. Then, she turned off her cell phone. (La Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Any time I see a government agency that can lay down hefty fines like this I cringe. These kinds of offices are ripe for corruption. They can threaten with a hefty fine, but if you pay the right people, then the whole problem just goes away. I would like to see the dates on this shark finning incident. I remember an article about a relatively recent article about shark finning in Panama from 25 November 2009. I wonder if this is the boat that was supposedly fined $564,000 dollars, that Arauz fined but Poveda ordered released. I also think Arauz might be a holdover from the PRD administration of Martin Torrijos, and Poveda is just cleaning house in order to run her own show. And since she could read the writing on the wall, Arauz fired a preemptive strike by filing a complaint against Poveda and now she can claim she was fired because she is a whistle blower. Nice trick, but there's a problem. I suspect the ARAP was most likely just as corrupt as the rest of the Panamanian government under the administration of Martin Torrijos, so it probably won't be too hard for them to dig up something on Arauz and a whole bunch of other people. In the end it's an internal struggle for power, and there's no way of knowing who is telling the truth.

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Conflict in the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP) | 1 comments | Create New Account
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Conflict in the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP)
Authored by: susangg on Tuesday, June 22 2010 @ 10:54 am EDT

Based on what I see going on here in the Bocas islands, NONE of the government agencies that are supposed to be responsible for protecting the marine and coastline environments in this ecologically sensitive area are able or willing to do their ostensible jobs. Whether they are all grossly incompetent or a bunch of crooks on the take (or both) I can't say. What I can say is that nothing has changed in that regard since Martinelli has taken office. As evidence, witness the complete acquiesence to the destruction of turtle nesting beaches, and the continued mining of sand that is rapidly destroying island beaches. When you go in or call to complain, its all "its not my job." At the same time, they've got people scurrying around all over the place trying to drive small time people out of business with ridiculous demands like "you have to pay us a fee for having mangroves on your property" (which was a demand made to a friend of mine). I know other people who were so harassed by nickel and dime crap and the administrative slow roll that they packed up and left. And if you walk into any of these offices, all you see is people sitting around doing their nails, chatting on the phone or shuffling the few papers that are in evidence on their desks. If you ask a question, the alternatives are (1) the deer in the headlights look; (2) "its not my job" or (3) you'll have to ask the boss and he's not in the office/in a meeting/out to lunch/in Panama City/on vacation.