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Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 07:18 PM UTC

Illegal export of Cocobolo

Environmental IssuesThe National Environmental Authority (ANAM ) informed Interpol Panama, on 30 December, of the existence of eight suspected counterfeit permits for the export of cocobolo wood to China and Taiwan.

The alert was sent through a note signed by Ibelice Ańino , Director of Protected Areas and Wildlife of the entity, explaining that in 2012 six permits were issued, and only two last year (2013.)

Two of the companies linked to the alleged false permits are owned by Alfredo Perez, who has been linked to five criminal charges for irregularities in the movement, permits, and export permits of cocobolo wood in Chepo.

In one of the cases, the Third Anti-Corruption Prosecutor called for Perez to be brought to trial.

Perez is a political candidate who is running for a position as a Deputy in the National Assembly to represent Chepo for the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

On 15 October 2013, the Sixth Criminal Court denied a request for the five processes against him to be "accumulated" (combined.)

Perez's attorney Euldarín Asprilla, cataloged this as a political attack, saying they want to disable Perez as a candidate through the courts.

COMPLAINT

A criminal complaint was filed yesterday against ANAM officials, for having granted permissions for the uncontrolled logging of cocobolo trees.

Ricardo Renteria, the attorney who filed the complaint, said this activity which occurred in the area of the Darien, causes irreversible damage to the environment.

ANAM had no comment. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Cocobolo is a very expensive and highly sought after tropical hardwood occurring naturally in the Panamanian rain forest. Like any activity where there's a lot of money to be made, the people doing the illegal activity have enough money to pay bribes to the people who are supposed to be stopping them.

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