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Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 05:14 PM EDT

MOP Says Panama Has Fulfilled Its Commitments To UNESCO

Infrastructure Upgrades
Federico José Suárez - Panama's Minister of Public Works
Federico José Suárez - Panama's Minister of Public Works
Public Works Minister Federico José Suárez, said on the TVN morning news that the Government has made ​​and delivered everything necessary to meet all their commitments to UNESCO, and they hope today to leave with a positive balance, in response to the suggestions of a committee of advisers from the international agency to include the Casco Viejo on the list of world heritage sites that are in danger. Suarez said at the meeting of the UNESCO there would be no verdict, but rather it's a dynamic process, and if it is determined they have not fulfilled their commitments, there will be further efforts.

Suarez said a degree of confusion has been created on this issue, and they are not only talking about Casco Viejo but also talking about leaving aside Fort San Lorenzo and the ruins in La Mitra in La Chorrera, which he knows from childhood. Minister Suarez said Panama has failed in many things for many years, and this administration has taken up the issues with UNESCO seriously, and they have conducted a technical analysis with the appropriate engineers and architects. He said with the Third Phase of the Coastal Strip they have put into function to bring the monumental heritage value to Unesco to retain its title as a world heritage monument.

Heritage Committee of Unesco meeting in Russia and is analyzing 33 new candidate sites, and those that are at risk of losing their status. Minister Suarez said the Third Phase of the Coastal Strip is a comprehensive project, and the historical heritage of the city is one component of the road network of a city that has collapsed. He said the project includes a social component in areas that are marginalized such as El Chorrillo, Barraza and Santa Ana. He said a new stadium will be constructed in Maracana that will hold about 6,000 people. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: The project to build the third phase of the Coastal Strip project has been controversial, because opponents have successfully involved UNESCO, and there's a threat that the "World Heritage" status will be removed from the Casco Viejo area of Panama City if the project goes forward. The government is making the simple argument that you can do both things - protect or even improve the Casco Viejo area, while at the same time continuing to improve the roadway network in Panama City. In fact right now the entire area of Casco Viejo looks like a major construction project. The roads are being torn up and replaced (with new brick paving stones), the electrical and utility cables are all being buried, etc. In short, once again this administration has done more to fix, improve, or upgrade the situation. Meanwhile, their political opponents continue to look for ways to either find or create leverage.

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