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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 12:15 AM EDT

Brouhaha Over Presidential Happy-Snap

EntertainmentBy DON WINNER for - The Panamanian press is having a field day today with president Ricardo Martinelli. Over the weekend he "summoned" the owners of the major television stations in order to ask them to self-regulate the content of the news, arguing that there is too much of an emphasis on crime and violence. Martinelli went on to criticize the popular television soap operas that are mostly from Colombia, which contain depictions of organized crime, drug trafficking, killings, murders, and good looking women with big hooters. Then this morning this happy-snap photo appeared on the cover of the "El Siglo" newspaper, showing Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli and Vice President Juan Carlos Varela posing with two actors in those same soap operas he was criticizing. And of course although he surely posed for photos with all of the actors, they published the photo of him posing with the actors who play the parts of some of the worst and most violent offenders (within the plot and story line of the soap opera), namely Julián Arango who plays Álvaro José Pérez (a.k.a "Guadaña") and Wílber Alirio Varela who plays Milton Jiménez (a.k.a. "el Cabo") in the series. Reacting to all of this today, Ricardo Martinelli came out and said that posing with people who visit Panama is part of his job. In my humble opinion this entire cycle is and was completely unnecessary. The president should do his job to control crime, and if there is less crime then we reporters will do our jobs and report on it less. Anyway, that's what's going on, for what it's worth. And obviously, the photo credit goes to El Siglo.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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