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Friday, August 29 2014 @ 04:02 AM EDT

A Letter In Defense Of TCT And Against The "Bribed" La Prensa Journalists

Panama NewsBy DON WINNER for - I received the following this afternoon via email. It came from Mr. Miguel A. Arango-Diez, Harley-Davidson Motor INC ( Mr. Arango-Diez is responding to several articles appearing recently in the La Prensa newspaper, with regards to the recent action by the employees from the company TCT, who used their vehicles to blockade the newspaper's headquarters on Ave. 12 de Octubre in Panama City. Here is the text of the email I received, with no edits, published as received;

  • "From all the articles concerning Senor David Ochy,President and CEO of TCT, Is evident that "La Prensa" has allowed their Journalist to be bribe from another Corporation to openly report malicious comments and lies, without checking facts, or the truth or the history of what TCT is about and the efforts they have overcome to help the country of Panama, and especially their Employees who are actually doing a better JOB in improving all road construction,and refurbishing roads that need, and require attention to. Traveling thru the City of Panama, has encourage TCT employees and owners to realize that Panama will be come a Metropolitan CIty and has brought the attention to other 3rd world countries that the Corporation TCT are bringing people to visit and to learn the History that the Country of Panama and to actually retire in Panama. A City without a good infrastructure, and continuos improvement plans will fail. TCT Corporation has the ability and knowledge and equipment to push and look ahead on what PANAMA can become, and most important their employees can actually certify how things used to be and what they are now. To finalize my comments concerning La Prensa, they better realize that good progress is very hard to stop. La Prensa should be very careful on who is directing or running that newspaper that has the balls to attack corporations that are not just going to sit and take it. TCT history is reliable now and will be into the future that has done good for Panama's future, and will still be now and tomorrow. The Citizens of Panama deserve the truth from honest Leaders and not by Bribed Journalist from "La Prensa""

Editor's Comment: Taking these elements one at a time, there's no doubt the La Prensa newspaper is biased in favor of the Panameņista political party, and against the Cambio Democratico and president Ricardo Martinelli. The author of this email indicates he thinks the journalists who work for the La Prensa newspaper have been bribed. I suspect in fact the work and reporting by the journalists of the La Prensa newspaper rather reflects the editorial bias held by the owners and news directors, and I seriously doubt anyone paid any bribes to the journalists. With that having been said, there's no doubt that La Prensa will be looking to dig up any dirt they can find on the Cambio Democratico political party in general and Ricardo Martinelli in particular. In the case of TCT and the company's owner David Ochy, La Prensa has published a series of reports focusing on a land deal in Baru, and government construction contracts to pave roads. And if TCT and David Ochy don't like what La Prensa is finding and printing, and if they respond by taking violent actions to blockade the newspaper's headquarters, then chances are the journalists of La Prensa are hitting a nerve.

With regards to the allegations that La Prensa is printing lies without checking facts, the Director of La Prensa responded by saying all of their reporting is backed up by documentation and evidence, to prove that what they allege in their articles is true.

With regards to the idea that Panama needs quality roads and infrastructure - of course that's true. But the thrust of the articles appearing in La Prensa were more focused on the idea that the contracts granted to TCT by the government were mostly sweetheart deals, because of the relationship between Ochy and Martinelli. So yeah, the country needs roads, but that's not the primary point of contention being reported.

The next statement is somewhat concerning: "La Prensa should be very careful on who is directing or running that newspaper that has the balls to attack corporations that are not just going to sit and take it." Of course within the Panamanian judicial system there are means and methods available to Ochy and the TCT company - and none of them involve illegally blocking a road, illegally blockading the headquarters of the La Prensa newspaper, or making threats. All of these sorts of things indicate a level of desperation, and an attitude of one who has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. "Be very careful"? "Not just going to sit and take it"? What are they going to do, send hit men? Journalists have a responsibility to report the truth. If the La Prensa newspaper is not reporting the truth about the relationship between TCT and the government of Ricardo Martinelli, then that's the point the company can attack in court. However, if La Prensa is reporting the truth and TCT simply does not like having the truth exposed to the light of day, and if they respond with violent actions, blockades, roadblocks, and threats, then I don't think there's anyone, anywhere, who would support or defend their actions.

The people of Panama deserve the truth, that's how this letter ends. I could not agree more. In these kinds of conflicts "the truth will set you free." I will be more than happy to provide the TCT company or David Ochy the space and opportunity to respond or reply to any of the La Prensa articles that I decide to cover on this conflict. I will handle those the same way I always do, like in this case. I will print the whole thing with no edits, and then provide my observations, comments, and insights after. These are simply my personal opinions and you can take them for what they are worth. As always, I assume my readers are smarter than I am, perfectly capable of forming their own opinions.

And to be honest with you, I had ignored the La Prensa reporting on the TCT company, and this whole thing only hit my radar when TCT tried to blockade the La Prensa headquarters with their dump trucks. I have no idea as to the relationship between the author of this email, Mr. Miguel A. Arango-Diez, Harley-Davidson Motor Inc., and Mr. David Ochy, but it's pretty obvious they are friends because he rose to Ochy's defense.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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A Letter In Defense Of TCT And Against The "Bribed" La Prensa Journalists | 3 comments | Create New Account
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A Letter In Defense Of TCT And Against The \"Bribed\" La Prensa Journalists
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2012 @ 08:39 AM EDT

Leftist union leaders, in collussion with PRD and Panameņista administrations, absolutely ruined the thriving banana export business in Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro existing for decades. They drove the banana companies away from Panama and organized and financed workers cooperatives, managed by inept politicians, who took over the banana business and failed miserably. Tens of millions were drawn from Banco Nacional and not a single penny was paid back. Now, the Ochis are organizing the banana business again responsibly but they are struggling against the opposition of traditional groups that want to maintain the historical banana racket. Unfortunately, La Prensa, who knows nothing about this business, is playing the part of the prize idiot, discrediting people that have a proven managerial experience just because they are not PRD or Panameņista. Thatīs the real backdrop of the workers protests against them.

A Letter In Defense Of TCT And Against The \"Bribed\" La Prensa Journalists
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2012 @ 09:52 AM EDT

Don't tell me the one precenter Harley-Davidson bikers are part of the equation !? That figures...