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Friday, April 25 2014 @ 03:36 AM EDT

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"Raul Pineda knows exactly why Gilberto "Kiki" Pinzon was killed," - Ramos

Crime & Punishment"Raul Pineda knows exactly why Gilberto "Kiki" Pinzon was killed," said the PRD candidate for Deputy Kathy Ramos, during a press conference after the congressman (Pineda) accused his husband - Juan Ramon Messina - of being behind the death of the leader (Pinzon). "Raul Pineda has to be accountable to the country ... he has to explain if there are organized gangs behind the death of this boy. Because Raul Pineda knows exactly why Gilberto "Kiki" Pinzon was killed," said Ramos. The official (Ramos) added that because of this case she has received death threats, which is why she fear for the lives of her four children and husband. She asked the National Police to safeguard their lives.

She also rejected the remarks made by president Ricardo Martinelli who suggested the murder came from internal problems in the (PRD) party. Ramos asked the Public Ministry to conduct investigations into the case for the truth to come to light. She also called for Pineda to be investigated for alleged ties to organized gangs in the district of San Miguelito. According to the leader (Ramos), deputy Pineda wants to take advantage of the situation for his own political good, and to make her look bad. "Raul Pineda is the man who you saw attacking Marcos Gonzalez," and she said she considers him to be an aggressive man. Ramos concluded by saying that if anything happens to her or her family, she blames Pineda and Ricardo Martinelli.

While speaking to the media, Deputy Pineda speculated that, the person behind the death of Gilberto Pinzon and the shooting of his sister Annet Pineda, was Juan Ramon Messina - the husband of Kathy Ramos - who he says threatened him (Pineda) ​​some hours before the attack. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Hmm. This was a sort of strange press conference, I just watched part of it. Kathy Ramos on one hand rejected the statements by Ricardo Martinelli, saying the attack in San Miguelito was more about organized crime and not about politics. But then at the very end of the conference when a reporter asked her about the links that exist - according to her - between Pineda and these organized crime gangs, she said that the Public Ministry should investigate, and that "Ricardo Martinelli should stop hiding (or protecting) Raul Pineda." She accused Raul Pineda of trying to use the situation for his own political advantage by using the attack against his sister as leverage, but then she did the same thing citing threats supposedly made against her and her family. She said this whole thing is not about internal PRD politics, but then her entire statement was about little else. So it was a statement made by a relatively unprepared "rookie" politician who was mostly just shooting from the hip, fueled more by emotion than logic or reason. She said supposedly Raul Pineda knows exactly why Pinzon was killed, but then she refused to say why herself. I expect the answers will come out in a day or two.

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Security Minister Refuses To Speculate on San Miguelito Shootings

Crime & PunishmentPublic Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino declined to speculate about the incident that happened last night in the area Jose Domingo Espinar in San Miguelito, in which the pre candidate for representative from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Gilberto Pinzon was killed and the sister of deputy Raul Pineda was injured. He said the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ), is performing the steps that are necessary to capture those responsible for the murder of Pinzon, who he understands are minors. He asked people to not link the incident to politics and to wait for the investigations to be completed, and he preferred not to comment because he said there are many components in the case and he prefers to let the authorities do their job. Mulino said on the TVN morning news they are waiting for the motives of the event to be identified. (Panama America)
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Security Minister Asks People To Not Speculate After Pineda Shooting

Crime & PunishmentThis morning Panama's Public Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, asked people to not speculate or to arrive at premature conclusions regarding the incident in which Anette Pineda, the sister of the National Assembly Deputy from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Raul Pineda was shot, and another person was killed. Mulino said the Public Ministry is responsible for carrying out the investigations of the case, in which one person was killed. According to statements by the head of Public Security in TVN News, there might be many people involved in this incident, so it is best to wait until the investigations conclude. Yesterday in the evening, the sister of Deputy Pineda was wounded after unidentified people shot her while she was participating in a political activity in San Miguelito. Deputy Pineda clarified that this situation has nothing to do with the conflict that took place last Tuesday with the Deputy Marcos Gonzalez. (Prensa)
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Juan Ramon Messina Denies Involvement In San Miguelito Shooting Last Night

Crime & PunishmentGiven the events that occurred last night on K Street in San Miguelito, Deputy Raul Pineda blamed Juan Ramon Messina, who is the husband of Kathy Ramos, who is running as a candidate for a position in the National Assembly as a Deputy representing district 8-6 for the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). In response, via telephone Messina denied having any part in the incident, in which Gilberto Pinzon was killed and Raul Pineda's sister Annet Pineta was shot, and who remains in critical condition.

Via telephone, Messina said on Thursday night there was a discussion (fight) between Kathy Ramos and Margarita Aldeano over the list of people who would be serving at the voting tables as volunteers or observers during the upcoming internal PRD elections to be held in July, during which convention delegates will be elected. Messina also said he had not called Pineda, as Pineda had declared on Thursday night to the news media who were in front of the San Fernando hospital. Messina said on the contrary he has more than 15 witnesses who can corroborate his version of events. Messina expressed regret that Deputy Pineda is using this situation as a "political banner" to damage the political career of Kathy Ramos. Messina said he would proceed legally against Pineda for having accused him without having any proof or evidence, and he would present a complaint for slander. (Telemetro)

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Sister and Assistant of Deputy Raul Pineda Shot In San Miguelito

Crime & PunishmentA political campaign team member associated with the National Assembly Deputy of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD), Raul Pineda, was attacked last night by an armed group while campaigning on K Street in San Miguelito. The attack left one dead, who was identified as Gilberto Pinzon, who was an assistant for Deputy Pineda, and who aspired to run as a candidate to be a Representative of the township. Additionally, Annet Pineda, the sister of Deputy Pineda, was seriously injured in the attack.

The Deputy's sister was taken to the San Fernando hospital. Her family members and several political figures arrived at the hospital, such as President Ricardo Martinelli, in addition to ministers and members of the PRD political party. She underwent emergency surgery because the bullet lodged in one of her kidneys.

Pineda said the attack was motivated by political differences and that minutes before the attack he received a threat by telephone. Pineda also completely ruled out the possibility that the National Assembly Deputy Marcos Gonzalez had anything to do with the attack, as was speculated following an altercation they had during the week. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: Sounds to me like this was more about local political conflict in San Miguelito, and less about the scandalous events in the National Assembly this week. Raul Pineda was the guy who attacked Marcos Gonzalez with a police baton in his hand on the floor of the National Assembly. Obviously, everyone immediately speculated that these two events were somehow related, which Pineda himself has denied.

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Suspect In Dario Fernandez Murder Escaped From Santo Tomas Hospital

Crime & PunishmentOne of the suspects for the murder of the former governor of Cocle, Dario Fernandez, escaped from the Santo Tomas Hospital, where he was detained and in police custody. The suspect, Carlos Barcenas, was receiving medical attention after he was shot three weeks ago. Police officers began their search, and he apparently escaped with the help of a woman. (Telemetro)
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PRD Deputy Attacked National Assembly Vice President With A Police Baton

Crime & PunishmentThe Deputy and Vice President of the National Assembly Marcos Gonzalez, declared to the press he would be filing a lawsuit against the Deputy Raul Pineda, and today Pineda said he is "willing to face it." Deputy Pineda was the protagonist in an incident with Deputy Gonzalez, when he shoved him hard on Tuesday during the session of the National Assembly. The incident came amid a controversy over the discussion of Bill 486 that would allow for the sale of state owned shares in the electric companies. Pineda said the action was necessary, but expressed regret over what happened. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: The PRD Deputy Pineda introduced a Monadnock PR-24 side-handle police baton to the floor of the National Assembly, and attacked Deputy Marcos Gonzalez with it while the video cameras were rolling. Pineda came running up from Gonzalez's left, surprising him, slammed the baton onto the desk, and attacked and shoved Gonzalez in a very aggressive manner. Pineda did not hit Gonzalez with the police baton, but obviously his intention was to cause fear and intimidation. Pineda apparently feels like a real bad-ass when he has a stick in his hands. Maybe he missed his calling, because it looks like he would be qualified for a position on the old "Dignity Battalions" that beat the shit out of my friend Billy Ford. Notice how the Telemetro reporting on this incident failed to mention Pineda is a member of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) political party, because that's the team they support in this game. He's nothing but a punk, and guys like this are the real reason the PRD is losing power and political influence. Hey Varela, happy with the members of your new alliance? Eisenmann? Nada? Do the ends justify the means? Remember that just a few months ago the leadership of the PRD was accusing Pineda of being a turncoat. Maybe he picked this moment to go "over the top" to regain their favor?



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Colombian Assassinated In Broad Daylight - Right In The Middle Of Calle 50

Crime & PunishmentThe Colombian Jose Fernando Castiblanco Delgado, 42, was killed by a hit man who shot him - in broad daylight - seven times and then finished him off with three stab wounds. The death scene was one of the major vehicular arteries of the capital city: Calle 50, in San Francisco, at about 1:40 pm yesterday afternoon. Early versions suggest minutes earlier the Colombian had met with his driver and another person in a restaurant, according to a source close to the investigation. The second person's cell phone rang and he left, saying goodbye.

When Jose Fernando left with his driver after eating, the foreigner was surprised by his executioner. He ran 200 meters for his life. In desperation he got in between the cars that were driving down Calle 50. His executioner, upon seeing his target was escaping, pulled out his gun and fired, hitting him and causing him to fall to the ground, so far just wounded but not dead. The murderer approached and shot Jose Fernando nine times. One of the bullets hit the left door of a Chervolet sedan with license plate 466042. The unidentified assassin began checking the his dying victim and found a knife in his waist, which he sank into his victim's neck three times.

Then, he went to a corner. He took off an orange shirt he was wearing and threw it to the ground with the knife. He put on a black shirt. Then he crossed the scene of the crime where, according to witnesses, a taxi was waiting for him, and he left.

The Homicide Division of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) is investigating to determine if the Colombian was the victim of an ambush. They are checking the images of several video surveillance cameras installed near the scene. Officials of Criminology at the Institute of Legal Medicine counted nine 9 mm pistol cartridges at the scene. The victim had been investigated by authorities for an offense involving drugs, said a police source. This violent event produced a huge traffic jam. The spouse of the deceased arrived at the scene. (Critica)

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Panameñista Protesters Arrested, Being Charged With Crimes

Crime & PunishmentThe Panameñista political party reported Wednesday that a group of their supporters are still being held by authorities after they were arrested while participating in protests on Tuesday in the grounds of the National Assembly. The authorities are initiating criminal procedures against them which should be (according to them) administrative penalties, so their attorneys are following the process. They added the prisoners were sent to the police station in the neighborhood of El Chorrillo. "Right now they are in the offices of the Prosecutor in San Felipe, in the old DENI building," reported the Panameñista party via their Twitter account. Moreover, Deputy Jose Luis "Popi" Varela, wrote "Martinelli giving instructions to the Public Ministry to arrest the Panameñista leaders!" (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Yesterday there were all sorts of acts of violence against police officers that should be punished. Someone set a tire on fire and threw it over a fence, hitting the police officers who were there. That person should be sent to prison for a long time for (whatever the crime is when you try to kill someone using a burning tire.) Free speech is fine. Political protests and differences of opinion are fine. But if you break things, destroy public property, or attack a police officer - then that's over the line. The authorities of the Public Ministry should step in and do their jobs, regardless of what Martinelli says or thinks. The laws are already on the books, and these people broke them. And now for political reasons, "Popi" Varela would allow these people to get away with these crimes, just because they were "fighting" for his cause. Great. More hypocrisy. Like for example - how did the Executive branch negotiate "amnesty" for the Indians who were arrested in Chiriqui? They don't have the power under the Constitution to do that. If someone is arrested for breaking the law, they should be prosecuted. The simple fact that they were arrested during a politically motivated demonstration should not change the basic facts of what they did. Aren't these the same guys who just yesterday were arguing in defense of the "institutions" in Panama, and the separation of powers? Good. Give them some of that. The Executive Branch cannot intervene on behalf of those who were arrested, because they are prohibited by the Constitution. Have a nice day, filled with institutions and the separation of powers, and you can contemplate that while sitting in a jail cell for 30 days or so.

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Man Shot and Killed on Calle 50

Crime & PunishmentA man was killed last night in front of Guadalupe Church in Calle 50, according to a police source. The reasons for the crime are unknown so far. Officials from the Public Ministry arrived to begin investigations. It was reported off the record the body had several bullet wounds. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Someone wrote and asked if I had any additional information about this shooting, and so far this is all I've seen.

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Blandon Challenged Martinelli To Drop Their Respective Legal Immunity and Protections

Crime & PunishmentThe National Assembly Deputy from the Panameñista political party Jose Isabel Blandon publicly challenged President Ricardo Martinelli to divest himself of the legal protections he enjoys as President, and he would strip himself of the immunity he enjoys as a Deputy, in order to go to court.

Blandon's statements come after a message President Martinelli wrote via his Twitter account, which mentioned the Deputy; "Unjust and false attack on Minister De Lima for having mentioned Pronto Cash Blandon the word Pronto Cash money laundering."

Immediately, the deputy (Blandon) responded in the same way (via his Twitter account); "You just accused me of something you know is false and yet, you undertook to publish this hoax in your diary. You should show your face."

In another message, Blandon wrote; "If you strip yourself of your protections as president, I will strip myself of mine as a Deputy, and lets go to the courts. I dare you."

Later Blandon sent via Twitter; "To be clear, I have no fear of @rmartinelli or his minions. He wants the Fifth Chamber precisely to intimidate his opponents." (TVN)

Editor's Comment: There was one earlier Tweet sent by President Ricardo Martinelli related to this same subject, sent at 7:38 am on Thursday 14 June 2012, which said "Insto a los medios periodisticos y radiales que se investigue y divulgue en el sistema judicial como va el caso de lavado de Pronto Cash" (I insist to the print and radio news outlets they should investigate and divulge how the money laundering case against Pronto Cash is going in the judicial system).

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Counterfeit Goods Seized By Customs Incinerated

Crime & PunishmentIn Colon about 400 bundles of counterfeit merchandise was destroyed, related to cases and investigations that have been closed, and the court has ordered its destruction. According to the Intellectual Property Prosecutor Nayra Fernandez Ruiz, the destruction was done in an incinerator in Colon, located in the area of Monte Esperanza. The products were seized through cases managed by Customs authorities, and others in warehouses where raids have been conducted. Among the products destroyed in the incinerator were dress shoes, shampoo and others. The destruction of additional goods will continue on Friday. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: Wow. I've seen all sorts of news stories over the years where Customs has seized this or that, but I don't think I've ever seen this - where they are actually destroying the seized counterfeit goods. Normally they just end up on Ave. Central on sale at a deep discount - no questions asked. This might be one more thing this government is doing right, that no one else has ever done in the past.

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New Prison For Adolescent Offenders Opens - Capacity For 194

Crime & PunishmentThis weekend, the authorities begin to transfer the youthful offenders from the Arco Iris Custody Enforcement Center to the new facility in Pacora, said Interior Minister Jorge Ricardo Fabrega. Minister Fabrega said problems with construction have delayed the transfer of all inmates. He said the mass escapes that have occurred in recent days are a result of overcrowding of prisons. Of the 24 adolescents who escaped on Monday, only one remains at large. The new prison in Pacora was built at a cost of approximately $12 million dollars, and it has a capacity to accommodate 194 inmates. It covers an area of 16.298 meters square with 17 buildings, 4 multipurpose playing fields, as well as a machine shop, welding, carpentry and joinery. The new facilities were built after the fire that killed five of the seven inmates injured after a fire was sparked during a riot in the Tocumen Compliance Center on 9 January 2011. The Minister of Government at that time, Roxana Mendez, said there were 315 adolescents detained in six prisons, with a capacity for 272. (TVN)
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Woman Hides Pistol Magazine From Police - In Her Seven Year Old Daughter's Vagina (Panama)

Crime & PunishmentDuring a raid conducted by the National Police in the sector of San Joaquin in Pedregal, police officers seized an magazine for a semi automatic pistol that a mother had hidden in the private parts of her seven year old daughter. Police officers started the raid in the apartment buildings of the area during the early morning hours. When the woman saw that the officers of the National Police were conducting this search operation, she hid the magazine in her daughter's body. More than 150 police officers participated in this operation, and they are still at the scene. They have also seized drugs and scales to weigh illicit substances. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: Oh my God. Hopefully the woman was arrested and her daughter taken away from her, forever. This is one of the most shocking and horrendous things I've ever heard of. Good lord. Where do these animals come from?

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Seven Injured In La Joya Prison Riot - Three Of Them Shot

Crime & PunishmentAbout 7 inmates injured in a riot that started in Pavilion 9 of the La Joya prison yesterday. Early reports indicate three of the prisoners were shot, and 4 were injured with makeshift improvised weapons. The injured inmates were first attended at the hospital in 24 de Diciembre and the Regional Medical Center in Chepo. However, two of the inmates are in delicate condition and taken to the Santo Tomas Hospital in Panama City. The brawl occurred approximately in the afternoon yesterday, Monday. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Yes, guns in prison. It happens quite often. The prison guards are notoriously corrupt and there are no good plans to combat that corruption. You could probably get a Sherman tank smuggled into a Panamanian prison if you paid enough money.

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"I've Been Ripped Off! Can you help me?" File Your Complaint First

Crime & Punishment By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I get email all the time from people claiming to have been the victim of a crime or fraud, normally something having to do with a real estate transaction or an investment that went bad in Panama. The perpetrators are usually a combination of real estate sellers or developers with a lawyer or two tossed in for good measure. They want to tell me all of the details (their side of the story only), describe the evil doers, tell me all about it, then they expect me to go riding off on a white horse to slay their dragons for them.

That's Now How It Works, Folks: First of all, if you're the victim of a crime here in Panama, the very first thing you need to do is file an official and formal complaint with the Department of Judicial Investigation (DIJ.) When you go to the DIJ bring all of your documents, copies of contracts, email, proof and evidence, and lay it all out for them. If you don't speak Spanish then you might have to make an appointment so they can have a translator available, but they can do that and most importantly they will. Make sure to emphatically state your case, as you see it. "This man (state his name) stole $60,000 dollars from me, and I want it back." Don't assume they will be able to figure anything out for themselves. State it in black and white. Make your complaint loud and clear, with no ambiguities, as you see it.

You Can Add More Later: Filing an official complaint with the DIJ starts the investigatory process. It's important to note that sometimes business disputes over disagreements in how a contract should be executed are civil matters, and not criminal. However it there's an element of fraud, theft, falsification of documents, or a host of other things, then the issue jumps from civil to criminal. After the process is started and the DIJ opens an investigation, you can always go down there later to amplify or expand your statement, and to add new proof or evidence. The DIJ should investigate the situation for a month or two, and if they find enough to indicate that a crime has indeed taken place, they will forward the case to the prosecutors of the Public Ministry, and then they will open their own investigation.

The Prosecutors Can Do More: In Panama the prosecutors of the Public Ministry have relatively far ranging investigatory powers. They can issue citations and force people to come in to their offices to make official sworn statements, including witnesses who have knowledge of the events. They can call in the accused and interrogate them as well - but they handle anyone who might potentially be charged with a crime differently from just witnesses because they have different rights, guarantees, and protections. Prosecutors can also issue search warrants and do things like seize evidence to help them build their case. You, as the person making the complaint, can also go in and add more information as the investigation continues.

Finally, Off To Court: After the prosecutor has investigated the case and developed the evidence, if they think they can prove that a crime has been committed and they know who did it, then they will forward the case to the judges of the courts and ask for there to be a trial. The whole process, from you making your initial complaint to getting it before a judge, could take a couple of years.

Scan The Complaint And Send It To Me: If you have been a victim of a crime, you have to take the first step and file the criminal complaint in the DIJ. If you have not done that, then I really can't talk about it. Once you've filed the complaint, then I can talk about the complaint and it's contents, because that's potentially newsworthy. Later I can also talk about the case at it wanders through the justice system. So, if you've been ripped off in Panama in a real estate or investment scam, file your official complaint, and then we can talk. The primary reason for talking to me (the press) would be to let others know what happened to you, so maybe the same thing won't happen to someone else - to sort of issue a public warning about the individuals involved. But if you have not even taken the time to file an official complaint then please don't waste your time or mine. And also you should be aware that I'm going to talk to all sides in the dispute and get their version of the events as well, so don't try to bullshit me if it was you who actually screwed up, because I'll figure it out eventually. Note - the one exception would be cases involving missing persons or a potential murder. If you think a loved one is missing and has been killed in Panama, call me immediately, no matter what. Like, yesterday.

"Don't Call Don Winner" - Lately I've been getting that a lot. One of the FBI agents at the US Embassy has repeatedly advised people not to contact me, because basically I'm a thorn in their side. They don't want to have to deal with the fact that I know what's going on in any particular case. Well, they didn't catch Javier Martin in four days, the effective use of the local news media did. I got the word out on the TVN channel 2 news broadcast, he was spotted in Santa Fe in the Darien and immediately arrested. The FBI also could not catch William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese - either in the United States, Costa Rica (where they also killed American citizens), or in Panama, or in Nicaragua. They were caught only after I broke the story to the press, and got their names and faces were on every television screen in Panama and Costa Rica and they were forced to run. The FBI didn't catch Daniel Moreno either - I provided the information directly to the DIJ that got him arrested in one day. And if someone in Bocas del Toro had called me immediately about the "fishy" disappearance of Yvonne Baldelli on the weekend of 26 November 2011, then I suspect that case might have evolved differently as well. The funny thing is after the FBI tells people not to call me (by name), in the end they usually do anyway, and then they tell me about it, and then I write this (good call, guys). I got a similar call again just yesterday. Anyway, point made. If it's a missing person case or a suspected homicide, call me immediately. If it's a theft or fraud case, then file your complaint, scan it, and then call me once that's been done.

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

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Customs Has Seized $539 Million Dollars Worth Of Counterfeit Goods So Far This Year

Crime & PunishmentThe Customs Authority has so far this year has seized $539 million dollars in counterfeit and smuggled goods (especially cigarettes and medicines) in Colon and they expect another $400 million before the end of the year. This was announced on the TVN morning news by Javier Cordoba, the Director of Customs in Colon, who said they are constantly monitoring to prevent smuggling. Cordova said this action by Customs has been recognized internationally, to the point that the World Customs Organisation will leave Brussels, Belgium for the first time to meet in Panama in August next year. (TVN)
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Former Justice Of The Peace (Corregidor) Now Wanted For Murder

Crime & PunishmentLuis Morales, who was the Justice of the Peace of Curundú in 2011, is now a fugitive from justice because of an arrest warrant issued by the First Superior Prosecutor. Morales is accused of the crime of aggravated homicide to the detriment of Ramon Antonio Poveda Infante, who was 24 years old at the time of his death. Poveda was shot in the back with a shotgun. The bloody deed was recorded in December 2011. Ramon Poveda died as a result of the gunshot would at the Santo Tomas hospital in Panama City.

His sister once told "La Critica" that Ramon came from Calle 25 de Calidonia after buying some food, fifty cents of fried plantains and a piece of chicken, and he was headed to the apartment of his mother Amparo, located in building Urban Renewal N . 1, in San Miguel, where he also lived. Before reaching the building of the former French Chamber he was shot at three times with a shotgun. One hit him, opening a hole in the back. Before he died, Ramon said it was "Luis Leon" who had shot him, as Morales is known. The former Justice of the Peace (correjidor) is now on vacation from the Municipality of Panama. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Morales is now a fugitive from justice, wanted for homicide.

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Strange Highway Kidnapping

Crime & PunishmentThe authorities of the Judicial Investigation Department (DIJ) of La Chorrera investigate the alleged kidnapping of a couple near San Antonio on the highway from Panama to La Chorrera. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: This was a strange one. An SUV was driving down the road with a man and woman aboard. They were rammed by another SUV and drove off of the road. Local residents went to the scene to help them, but then a taxi showed up and the two were kidnapped at gunpoint, and the taxi drove away. The residents reported it to police. The couple were released in Capira and were giving their statements to the authorities. An investigation has been opened to figure out exactly what happened, and why.

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Very Low Murder Rate In Los Santos Province

Crime & PunishmentThe Public Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, announced there has been a low rate of homicides in the province of Los Santos yesterday, Friday, 8 June 2012, at the inauguration of a new integrated checkpoint of the National Police and the Authority Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP), in the community of Quebrada Ocho Pasos, in the district of Tonosi. Mulino said three people were killed in May 2011, while so far this year only one person has been killed, which occurred last March and involved an infant. The construction of the integrated post will be used to fight drug trafficking, illegal fishing, home robberies in the coastal communities in the region. During the ceremony Mulino promised that "before the end of my time in office the Naval Air Station will be built in the coastal area of 'Los Buzos' of Tonosi, which will be interconnected with the communities of Cambutal, Buenos Aires, in the district of Macaracas and Veraguas." There are four projects running in the province, including the remodeling of a barracks, a communications room, equipping the police station in Guararé, and the construction and equipment of an integrated checkpoint for the National Police and the Justice of the Peace in the area of Tres Quebradas. (Panama America)

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They Stole Her Cell Phone At Gunpoint On Via Porras - Then Got Busted

Crime & PunishmentA woman was the victim of a crime early yesterday morning. The female was in the area of ​​Via Porras, when two men, gun in hand, grabbed her cell phone and fled. As they ran they threw the 9mm pistol they used to rob the woman into some tall grass. One subject tried to hide in a nearby home to avoid being arrested, but to no avail, the house owners denounced him and minutes later he was captured. The other criminal was also arrested. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: Super-genius...

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Credit Card Cloning Gang Arrested (Foreigners)

Crime & PunishmentNational Police officers arrested four foreigners, including one woman, who engaged in cloning credit cards.  National Police Commissioner Rafael Alvarez explained they found 16 cloned cards and the equipment to counterfeit them. He said the gang members were arrested last night in San Francisco. Additionally, they conducted raids in several hotels in the area where the equipment to clone the card was found. (Critica)

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Suspected Killer Of Former Governor Shot Seven Times

Crime & PunishmentThe person who was wanted by the justice authorities in Panama as the suspected assassin of the former Governor of Cocle, Dario Fernandez, was shot seven times today. He is currently in critical condition in the hospital in the area of 24 de Diciembre with seven bullet wounds. He was shot in the area of Felipillo. Minutes later, when police officers arrived on the scene, they realized there is an arrest warrant in the system for the shooting victim, who is wanted as a suspect in the murder of Fernandez. At this time his condition is serious. (Dia a Dia)
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The Prisoners In Chiriqui Even Had Laptop Computers

Crime & PunishmentTremendous surprises were found in the prison of David, after a search conducted by police officers and officers of the Anti Drug Prosecutor's Office, who evicted the more than 900 inmates in order to search the more than 40 cells that make up the pavilions known as “La Mata” and “La Preventiva”.

Contraband and prohibited items such as machetes, files, knives, and ice picks were found, as well as DVD players, dozens of televisions, laptop computers with wireless Internet service, several bottles of liquor, and many other items were found at the scene, and some prisoners when searched were found to be carrying marijuana and cocaine.

Explain! - Marcos Cordova, Commissioner of Police Zone in Chiriqui, said the Director of the Prison will now have to explain how all of these items and drugs were introduced into the prison, because the National Police are only responsible for controlling the prison's perimeter. He also said the prison inmates, with all the technology they had, could have been communicating without any complications, so therefore they will be investigated to determine if there are gangs or criminal groups who are giving orders from inside the prison. He clarified this operation is totally different from what happened to the Prosecutor for Adolescents, Vilma Batista.

By 4:00 pm the inspection continued, which was conducted independently and as a surprise inspection, because not even the prison guards or warden knew what they were going to be doing, said Edgardo Gonzalez of the Drug Prosecutor's Office. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: Obvious conclusion - the Warden and prison guards who work at the public prison in David are completely and totally corrupt. I hope they will soon be joining the criminals they are supposed to be guarding.

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Fewer Murders In Panama During May Compared To Last Year

Crime & PunishmentAccording to official reports 54 people were murdered during May 2011. During last month, May 2012, 46 people were murdered in Panama, reflecting a decrease of eight murders. Bartolomé Agüero, a Commissioner in the National Police, said according to the statistics there has been a reduction in both murders as well as those who have been injured by gunshot this month, however they want to keep working in order to further reduce these figures.

Jean Marcel Chery, director of the newspaper El Siglo, acknowledges the change in the statistics for the month of May, however he pointed out that the total number of homicides compared to last year remains the same.

According to an official report issued by the Office of Integrated Criminal Statistics of the Ministry of Security, the reduction in murders can be directly attributed to the implementation of the "Carrot Law" (which closes the bars in Panama at an earlier hour.) The Mayor of Panama City Roxana Mendez said they will create a commission to evaluate the effects of the law and to issue a conclusion. According to a note issued by Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino and Panama City Mayor Roxana Mendez, during the dates when the "Carrot Law" was suspended the numbers of fights and personal injury cases increased considerably. (TVN)

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Luxury Items Confiscated From "VIP Cells" in David Public Prison

Crime & PunishmentAuthorities conducted a surprise search of the public jail in David, in the province of Chiriqui yesterday, and seized bottles of Chivas Regal Whisky, Seco Herrerano, laptop computers connected to the Internet, HDTVs, cellular phones, and makeshift knives, among other contraband items. The search revealed that dozens of inmates were "living the high life" in the prison. About 85 government officials, among them police officers, prison guards, and court officials searched 44 cells in an action that lasted all day yesterday.

Editor's Comment: You're welcome, motherfucker. William Dathan Holbert - alias "Wild Bill" - is being held in this prison. On 19 May 2012 I published this article - William Dathan Holbert Has a Blackberry Cell Phone, Email, Fax Machine, and Internet Access in Prison. Then I went out of my way to make sure high ranking authorities in the government of Panama knew about it. This was their response. Obviously, there's corruption within the public prison in David. As the heat was getting turned up, the Warden of this prison sort of came out with a public statement saying "what's all the fuss" as documented in this article - David Jail Warden Criticizes Interest in "Wild Bill". All of this crap - laptop computers, bottles of whiskey, cell phones - was introduced into the prison because the inmates paid bribes to prison officials to allow it in. There should be an immediate investigation (involving polygraph tests) of everyone working at that prison. And of course any of the prison guards who are caught taking bribes should be fired and prosecuted. I'm sure the minute the inspecting authorities departed, the inmates immediately started scheming to get their toys back. It's a cat and mouse game. And if the inmates in the prison want to be mad at someone, they should be furious at William Dathan Holbert - because he's the one responsible for them getting their shit taken away. Maybe this action will prevent William Dathan Holbert from sending additional email lobbying for house arrest for Manuel Antonio Noriega, or trying to insert himself into the investigations into the disappearance of Yvonne Baldelli.

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Customs Seizes Contraband Medicines Found In Container

Crime & PunishmentYesterday authorities discovered a container full of contraband (illegal) medicines at one of the ports in Colon, which had arrived from Spain. According to the documentation of the goods, the container was supposed to be carrying general goods, but upon inspection the medicines were found. The container was retained by the National Customs Authority and it was learned there have been no arrests in this case. (Dia a Dia)

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Broad Daylight Burglary in Brisas del Golf

Crime & PunishmentIn broad daylight criminals entered a residence located in Brisas del Golf, San Miguelito and took $12,000 in cash items worth $4,269 dollars. The theft occurred on 12th Street at 2:30 pm on Wednesday. The incident occurred when the owner, 27, who is of foreign nationality, arrived home and realized criminals had forced the back door to break into the house and steal. The National Police conducted an operation in the area but did not catch the thieves. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Yeah, $12,000 in cash in the house. Someone knew about it, and they went to get it. Keep your cash in the bank.

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Arrested For Selling Pirated CD's - Wanted For Rape

Crime & PunishmentA 19-year-old, who was arrested by units of the Judicial Investigation Department of the National Police, during an operation against pirated CD vendors, was wanted by judicial authorities for two other crimes. It turns out he was wanted for "crimes against decency and sexual freedom" (rape), which was found once his identify was verified using the Pele Police handheld data system. During this action another citizen was also arrested, 22 years old, and between them the authorities seized more than one hundred pirated discs. The two were arrested as they were selling the discs on Via Transistmica. Importantly, both offenders were sent directly to a prison because they are repeat offenders in intellectual property crimes. (Dia a Dia)

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Méndez Is Cooperating With The Reconstruction, Ventura Ceballos Refuses

Crime & PunishmentFor the third consecutive day, the reconstruction of the facts relating to the case of murder and kidnapping of five young adults in La Chorrera of Asian descent, began several hours late. The only one of the defendants in this case that has given statements to the authorities is Alcibiades Mendez. Gilberto Ventura Ceballos has not participated in the reconstruction of the case. The reconstruction was suspended this afternoon because of the heavy rain falling in the neighborhood of El Trapichito in La Chorrera prevents the authorities from continuing. (Panama America)

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