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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 09:51 PM EDT

Panameņista Protesters Arrested, Being Charged With Crimes

Crime & PunishmentThe Panameņista political party reported Wednesday that a group of their supporters are still being held by authorities after they were arrested while participating in protests on Tuesday in the grounds of the National Assembly. The authorities are initiating criminal procedures against them which should be (according to them) administrative penalties, so their attorneys are following the process. They added the prisoners were sent to the police station in the neighborhood of El Chorrillo. "Right now they are in the offices of the Prosecutor in San Felipe, in the old DENI building," reported the Panameņista party via their Twitter account. Moreover, Deputy Jose Luis "Popi" Varela, wrote "Martinelli giving instructions to the Public Ministry to arrest the Panameņista leaders!" (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Yesterday there were all sorts of acts of violence against police officers that should be punished. Someone set a tire on fire and threw it over a fence, hitting the police officers who were there. That person should be sent to prison for a long time for (whatever the crime is when you try to kill someone using a burning tire.) Free speech is fine. Political protests and differences of opinion are fine. But if you break things, destroy public property, or attack a police officer - then that's over the line. The authorities of the Public Ministry should step in and do their jobs, regardless of what Martinelli says or thinks. The laws are already on the books, and these people broke them. And now for political reasons, "Popi" Varela would allow these people to get away with these crimes, just because they were "fighting" for his cause. Great. More hypocrisy. Like for example - how did the Executive branch negotiate "amnesty" for the Indians who were arrested in Chiriqui? They don't have the power under the Constitution to do that. If someone is arrested for breaking the law, they should be prosecuted. The simple fact that they were arrested during a politically motivated demonstration should not change the basic facts of what they did. Aren't these the same guys who just yesterday were arguing in defense of the "institutions" in Panama, and the separation of powers? Good. Give them some of that. The Executive Branch cannot intervene on behalf of those who were arrested, because they are prohibited by the Constitution. Have a nice day, filled with institutions and the separation of powers, and you can contemplate that while sitting in a jail cell for 30 days or so.

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