The Viaduct Is A Final Decision That Panama Delivered to UNESCO
Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:53 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
"The tunnel is not an option. That is the decision of the state party and thank God I am glad there will not be a tunnel," said this morning, Thursday, 13 December 2012 on the channel 2 TVN morning news the Director of INAC, Maria Eugenia Herrera.
In a report released this week through its Web site, the World Heritage Committee reiterated that the viaduct will have a negative impact on the universal value of Casco Viejo - recognized as a world heritage site since 1997 - and called for its immediate suspension and an analysis of alternatives, such as an underground tunnel.
The agency also warned that Casco Viejo could be expelled from the list of World Heritage sites during the next meeting of the WHC, in June 2013, in Cambodia.
Herrera said that such information is "outdated". She said the complementary study of the marine section was presented at this years meeting of the WHC in Russia, it was shown that Panama took "the best decision".
"There is not a single legal document that says we will affect the universal value of the site (Casco Viejo)," she said. "What is good and what is bad is a different thing, but we have been highly responsible," she said.
She explained that the document on the Internet - which was seen by La Prensa - contains "outdated information" because the "security code" that was given at a meeting of the WHC, in Chile, earlier this month, to the director of Heritage History, Sandra Cerrud, did not allow for the updated documentation to be entered at the time.
"Panama has submitted all of the documents to Unesco and I want to clarify that the [information] coming out of Chile is not true," the official stated in TVN Noticias.
In that same tone the Deputy Director of the INAC Raul Castro said the disclosures "are not correct, are not valid." UNESCO is an international organization that works chronologically like clockwork, Castro said on Telemetro.
Sebastian Paniza, President of Icomos Panama - the advisory body to Unesco on issues of heritage - replied that the information is up to date, and it was this that was presented and discussed at the last meeting of Chile. "Here they are outdated," said Paniza. (Prensa)
Editor's Comment: Sebasitan Paniza is a friend of mine, and he also owns property in Casco Viejo. He and others do not want this roadway built around the area, and they have been trying to lobby Unesco for years to indirectly pressure the Panamanian government to abandon the plan. However, Martinelli's mind is made up, and construction continues.