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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 07:28 PM EDT

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'Drowned' canoeist found alive after 5 years....but his wife left Britain four weeks ago

Expat Tales This Is London - A man who turned up in London five years after being presumed dead says he cannot remember anything about the missing time, police said today. The mystery of John Darwin, 57, deepened this evening when it emerged that his wife Anne, 55, sold the family home less than a month ago for £295,000. Mrs Darwin, a doctor's receptionist, is understood to be living in Panama City in central America after opening a bank account there. Mr Darwin, a science teacher for 18 years, was a serving prison officer when he was thought to have drowned in March 2002. The remains of his red canoe were washed up on a beach near the couple's home at Seaton Carew near Hartlepool. Officers said Mr Darwin could remember only his name when he walked into West End Central police station on Saturday saying: "I think I am a missing person." (more)
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Looking For Anne Darwin

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This afternoon a story broke about Anne Darwin and her husband who has been missing for five years. He was declared dead and his wife has supposedly moved to Panama. If she's here, I would like to talk to her. If anyone knows her or has a way to contact her, please pass on my contact information and ask her to email or call; don@panama-guide.com, cell 6614-0451, or office 399-4750. Thanks.

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The 'dead' canoeist, his wife and the Panama connection

Expat Tales[image1_right] By John Darwin, Andrew Norfolk, Rajeev Syal and Murad Ahmed for The Times On Line - The wife of a man who disappeared in an apparent canoeing tragedy five years ago had moved to Panama and opened a new bank account only weeks before he walked into a police station to declare that he was still alive, it emerged last night. Anne Darwin, 55, is understood to have emigrated to Panama City soon after the sale of two properties that she once jointly owned with her husband John Darwin, who had formally been declared dead by a coroner. Yesterday Mr Darwin, 57, a former teacher and prison officer, was preparing to be interviewed by detectives who want to know how he has survived in anononymity before he strolled into West End Central police station in Savile Row, Central London, last weekend. (more)
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Whirlpool blamed for Taiwan shipwreck

Weather The Sydney Morning Herald - A Panama-registered freighter may have sunk in a whirlpool last week, dragging down as many as 27 crew members within five minutes after the ship was struck by a giant wave off Taiwan, the coast guard said. The eddy between currents about 35 nautical miles east of Taiwan's northern tip is suspected of sinking the ship, which was carrying iron ore and an Indonesian crew of 28. One crew member was found alive, clinging to his life vest, a day after the freighter went down last Tuesday. "A whirlpool effect is possible," said Taiwan Coast Guard spokesman Hsieh Ching-ching after hearing the survivor's account. "Some of the sailors couldn't put on their lifejackets in time, so there are some who didn't make it up." Typhoon Mitag generated stormy seas east of Taiwan last week after killing about 19 in the Philippines. Although the coast guard normally calls off searches within 72 hours, it has extended its hunt for the ship to a seventh day, using 12 boats and a helicopter.
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Venezuelans Reject Constitutional Reform Proposal in National Referendum

Politics

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - With a vote of 49% in favor and 51% against, the people of Venezuela narrowly rejected a package of 69 constitutional reforms yesterday that would have allowed Hugo Chavez to remain as the President of Venezuela virtually for life. Thanks to the defeat he will now be barred from running for reelection in 2012. My faith in democracy is renewed. The developing democracies of Latin America (including Panama) are still maturing and defining their particular brands of local democracy. Most of Latin America has really only been truly democratic since the end of the cold war and Panama is a perfect example. Noriega was ejected as soon as he was no longer needed as a hedge against communism, and the Panamanian people have only been electing their leaders since 1989. In the case of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, there are plenty of other people in that country (population 27 million) who could probably run the country just as good or better than him. The last thing Latin America needs is a replacement for Fidel Castro.

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The Venezuelan Exodus

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - As Hugo Chavez tightens his grip on Venezuela, those who see the country in a tailspin are fleeing in record numbers. There are about five flights from Venezuela to Panama every day, and all of them are completely sold out until 20 January 2008. That means that about 1,200 Venezuelans are coming to Panama every day. All hotels in Panama are full. The new Venezuelan arrival are buying apartments five, ten, or twenty at a time. Check out this youtube video...

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Venezuela Currency Controls Stoke Travel Boom, Universal Says

Panama NewsBy Steven Bodzin Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan currency controls, combined with a widespread demand for dollars, have created a boom in Venezuelan travel, El Universal reported. Because Venezuelans can get $5,000 at the official exchange rate of 2,150 to the dollar for travel abroad, they are traveling in large numbers, the Caracas daily said. Half the rooms in Hotel Roma in Panama are reserved by Venezuelans and air fares to that country have tripled, El Universal said. Air travel from Venezuela generated twice the revenue in October as a year earlier, El Universal reported. No tickets are available to Panama until Jan. 20, the newspaper said. A network has sprung up to buy people's ``cupos,'' the $5,000 in legal currency allotted by the government, the newspaper said. Brokers who buy these official dollars and resell them at black-market rates that are triple the official exchange rate charge a fee of 15 percent to 30 percent, the newspaper said. To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Bodzin in Caracas at sbodzin@bloomberg.net.
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Celestino Caballero Retains WBA Super Bantamweight Title

Sports Section
Celestino Caballero
Celestino Caballero
Second Scout.com - Celestino "Pelenchin" Caballero retained his WBA super bantamweight title with an eighth round tko win over former world champion Mauricio Pastrana at the Roberto Duran Gymnasium in Panama on Saturday night. Caballero,28-2-(19), who was nearly a foot taller Pastrana, controlled the bout throughout. Caballero’s heavy heavy punches proved too much for the challenger,leaving referee Roberto Ramirez to stop the contest at the 58-second mark. Pastrana,34-8-2, was attempting to become a three weight champion.
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Israel to Site Plane Repair Center in Panama

Panama News Panama, Dec 2 (Prensa Latina) The leading company of the Israeli military industrial complex will establish a plane repair center in Panama, and an aeronautical academy, La Prensa daily reported on Sunday. The Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) produces airplanes and missiles of different types, some of them in association with the US or European firms, and has 15,000 employees. IAI will begin investing in the construction of a storage center of parts and accessories at Tocumen airport in Panama city, which will start operations in June. Initially, IAI will replace damaged parts in the airplanes of its client airlines, while its headquarters in Israel repairs them, said the source. The company aims to take advantage of the geographical position of Panama to control the plane repair business of the airlines operating in the American continent.
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Ayleen Crespo - First Runner Up in Costa Rica (MIss Reef)

Sports Section
Ayleen Crespo - Miss Reef International (Panama)
Ayleen Crespo - Miss Reef International (Panama)

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Ayleen Crespo, the Panama Representative to the Miss Reef International competition held recently in Costa Rica, was selected as the First Runner-Up. For more photos of Ayleen and the rest of the contestants, please visit the website of my good friends at delante.com who are usually all over this kind of thing, and any other event where there are bikini's involved. God Bless the Internet. As well as youth, fitness, and the fact that sex sells.

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Bored...Tubby...Mild

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A tribute to the Baby Boomers moving to Panama... (Thanks, Charley)

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More Busts in Chiriqui Drug Trafficking Network

Corruption El Siglo - Operation "Ley Patriotica" (Patriotic Law) continues to be devastating in Chiriquí, where now another foreigner is under investigation. Sources close to the investigation said the person being investigated is a Dominican named Anthony Andujal. The source, who asked to reserve his identity, said that Anthony supposedly was a business partner with Salim Salen or Salim Safadi, a Nicaraguan of Lebanese origin, who is also under investigation. The residence of the Dominican was inspected by the authorities in charge of the DIIP together with the First Anti Drug Prosecutor of Panama. According to sources close to the investigations, the residence of the Dominican is located in Paso Canoas before the bridge over the Chiriquí Viejo river. (more)
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Graciela Dixon - "Sad and Resigned" (Gag...)

Law & Lawyers
Graciela Dixon - Unemployed in 29 Days
Graciela Dixon - Unemployed in 29 Days
By Julio Villalobos for La Estrella de Panama - Graciela Dixon received the results of the voting for the position of Magistrate on the International Criminal Court with sadness and resignation. The President of Panama's Supreme Court of Justice only received 25 votes (of 105) in her favor during the second round of voting held during the sixth session of the Assembly of Signatory States of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, held at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Of the five people who were aspiring to fill the three vacancies for Magistrates on the International Criminal Court, only two were selected during the second round of voting; the Japanese Fumiko Saiga with 82 votes and Frenchman Bruno Cotte with 79 votes. To be chosen in the second round candidates had to obtain the votes of two-thirds of the 104 states present and voting (69 votes). Tomorrow there will be one final round of voting to select the final judge.
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ANAM Fines Vistamar $930,000 for Environmental Damages

Real Estate By José Arcia for La Prensa - It is the second highest fine for environmental damages ever applied to a private business in Panama. The National Authority of the Environment (ANAM) sanctioned the development group Vistamar, of the Shahani group, which is developing a real estate and tourism project in San Carlos, with $930,923 dollars. The record fine was imposed in 2004 against the promoter of the Prados del Este neighborhood for $1 million dollars. ANAM began an administrative investigation in the Vistamar case in December of 2004 as a result of a denouncement for cutting trees and its effect on the ecosystem. Three years later, the organization concluded that the company failed to comply with their approved Environmental Impact Study and in addition began collateral projects without proper environmental evaluation. (more)
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Investigations Into FECE Scandal Continue

Corruption By Eneida Prieto for the Panama America - More than $11,000 in cash and checks have been given by the lawyers for Joaquina Gallardo to the Auxiliary Prosecutor, who demanded to know the origin of the money. It was known that one of Gallardo's brothers, Luis Peña Torregrosa, bought a blue Land Cruiser for approximately $48,000 in cash. The luxury SUV with "full extras" was released this week from a lien and transferred to another person, even though the FECE scandal had already exploded. Sources indicated that the Judicial Technical Police (PTJ) have arrest orders for Nedelka Gallardo and Yaribeth, the sister and niece of Gallardo, respectively. Authorities went to the house of Gallardo's father but the two women have not been located so far. It was also known that one of those involved in this scandal, a teacher named Pedro Pablo Sáenz, fears for his life after several subjects robbed him of thousands of dollars last week. Sáenz received several thousand dollars under the identity of the company Digital Sáenz Tecnology, according to Ministry of Education audits. According to the information provided, two employees of each branch of the Banco Nacional could be involved in an organization that helped to cash the checks without asking for greater details. In the case file there is evidence that the father of a teacher named Teodoro Castillo (of the same name), cashed checks in the banks in Milla 8, El Dorado, and Tumba Muerto.
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More Arrests in Drug Network Case

Corruption By José Otero and Migdalia Grinard for La Prensa - With new arrests yesterday, the number of people detained for possible connections to the drug trafficking network being dismantled by authorities rose to 40. According to Anti Drug Prosecutor José Abel Almengor this group was responsible for smuggling at least one ton of cocaine this year. In related news, yesterday in the Province of Colon 2,400 kilos of cocaine were seized. Almengor said that this seizure does is not connected with the recently dismantled network.
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Graciela Dixon Didn't Make the Cut

Panama NewsNEW YORK (Kyodo) Fumiko Saiga, Japanese ambassador in charge of human rights and a member of the U.N. Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, was elected Friday to fill one of three vacant judge seats on the International Criminal Court. Saiga, the first Japanese to take that post, received 82 votes, which is more than the two-thirds majority required from the 105 countries eligible to cast secret ballots. Saiga is a prominent Japanese diplomat who has extensive experience working with the international body. She has held several key posts, from consul general in Seattle to an ambassador post at the Japanese mission in New York and Japanese ambassador to Norway and Iceland. (more)
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An Interview with US Ambassador to Panama William Eaton

Panama News

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - During the recent trip to the Embera Indian village of Parara Puru on the Chagres River I was able to get a little time with the US Ambassador to Panama William Eaton:

Panama-Guide: On the free trade agreement and Pedro Miguel Gonzalez; Do you think the Free Trade Agreement is going to pass?

Ambassador Eaton: I think it's still unclear. You've seen a lot of comments from influential Senators and Congressmen that have concerns about the agreement now. The election next November adds a new dynamic to the political discussion in the United States about free trade. We don't know what the new congress or the new president will think about free trade. So I think we're entering into a period of uncertainty. (more)

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Let's Hunt This Carl Baker Prick Down...

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I'm getting very tired of hearing from people who have been ripped off by this guy. Rather, it would be better to say that I'm tired of hearing about his successful scams and would like to put him out of business. He's a two-bit scam artist who specializes in people who do not live in Panama full time. In other words, tourists who are just passing through. As soon as he hears that you live here he moves on to another victim. It seems to me that getting a picture of this guy should be relatively easy, considering that the people who he is targeting are tourists who almost always have a camera. If you know who he is and can recognize him, please do us all a favor and snap his picture the next time you see him. I would love to make you both famous...

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Another Victim of Carl Baker Heard From

Expat Tales

By (Name Withheld By Request) for Panama-Guide.com - I am an American college student here studying for the semester. I had an encounter with Carl Baker on October 27th at the Veneto Casino. I struck up a conversation with him at the bar because I arrived alone and wanted to know the score of the Florida game. After 30 minutes of talking, I find out about his recent "hardships" and his recent "involvements" with the war in Iraq. It was the same thing he had apparently been saying to people for the past year. That he was on his way to Albrook mall and left his money ($900), Identification cards, and his camera in the taxi. He was on R&R waiting for his family to meet him here on a cruise. He showed me the pictures of his wife, kids, and his "best buddy" who died in Iraq. (more)

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Traffic Records Broken (Again) In November 2007

What is PG?

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Traffic to Panama-Guide.com continues to grow steadily thanks to the continued support of our dedicated readers and supporters. I clearly remember ending the month of November 2004, three months after having launched the website and seeing an average of 98 visitors per day for the month - at the time I though that was flat-out kicking ass. Our traffic doubled over the next four months to 200 per month, and then doubled again in four months more. Now if we don't see 4,000 people per day I get worried. The first month we averaged more than 2,000 people per day was January 2007 so this time it took us ten months to double our traffic. Traffic matters in the world of Internet advertising because sponsors want to know they are investing their hard-earned money to promote their businesses and services in a medium that will reach their intended market and pay a return on their investment. So while this kind of stuff might be boring for you (the reader) its interesting to the people out there who are thinking about advertising on this website. During November 2007 we broke records again in several categories:

  • Unique Visitors - 58,038 (* Record)
  • Visits - 123,212 (* Record)
  • Pages Produced - 839,332
  • Hits - 5,394,471
  • Bandwidth - 96.33 GB

If you find this stuff boring, then my apologies and please press on. But if not, there's ... (more)

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Side issues stall action on trade agreements

Panama News
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez in Handcuffs During His Trial
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez in Handcuffs During His Trial
By Stephen J. Hedges | Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau - WASHINGTON - Four trade agreements worth billions of dollars to the U.S. farm industry are stalled in Congress over disagreements that have little to do with trade, but that include concerns about paramilitary death squads, mad cow disease and the shooting 15 years ago of a U.S. soldier in Panama. While most agribusinesses and farmers are waiting for Congress to pass the stalled, subsidy-laden $286 billion 2007 farm bill, the Bush administration has been pressing for approval of trade agreements with Peru, South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The White House argues the agreements will eliminate trade barriers and expand markets for farmers, meat, pork and poultry producers and a wide range of agricultural concerns. (more)
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27 Police Officers and PTJ Agents Arrested in Drug Ring

CorruptionLa Prensa - Twenty seven members of the National Police (PN) and Judicial Technical Police (PTJ) were arrested in recent hours for supposed connections to a drug trafficking network recently dismantled by authorities. In statements given in Chiriqui and Panama, Anti Drug Prosecutor Jose Abel Almengor, and the Directors of the National Police and PTJ, Rolando Mirones and Jose Ayú Prado respectively, said that these police officers were taken into custody and will be interrogated. They added that those arrested will begin to give their statements today, but that the process could extend over several days due to the large number of officers arrested. (more)
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Panama: First Competitiveness and Public Financial Management Development Policy Loan (DPL)

Panama NewsWASHINGTON, November 29, 2007 - The following project was approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors: IBRD LOAN: US$75 million, TERMS: Maturity= 18 years; Grace period= 2 years, PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The proposed Loan is the first in a proposed programmatic series of two DPLs, which build upon the FY07 Public Finance and Institutional DPL. This operation will support the Government of Panama's development program as described in its Strategic Vision document, focusing on actions aimed at: • Promoting broad-based growth through the enhancement of private sector competitiveness, by helping to reduce bureaucratic red tape, improving training policies, and increasing investments in innovation. • Consolidating fiscal sustainability, transparency and efficiency through the modernization of public financial management systems for revenue, debt, fiscal reporting, and public procurement. For more information please call Stevan Jackson (202) 458-5054 or email:sjackson@worldbank.org
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Panama, Docked Docs to Sue

Protests & DemonstrationsPanama, Nov 30 (Prensa Latina) The Panama government's docking salaries for the last 15 days of striking public hospital physicians heated up the 25-day conflict Friday, with professionals in the National Medical Negotiating Committee (Comenenal) saying they will bring a lawsuit against the State. On Thursday, at least 60 percent of the 3,201 doctors working for Social Security (CSS) found the past fifteen days deducted from their pay and today Ministry of Health employees expected to find the same. CSS director Rene Luciani confirmed the salary deductions, in compliance with a warning by President Martin Torrijos. Leaders of the more than 5,000 physicians on strike since November 6 termed the measure illegal, as they have been seeing patients in emergency units and hospital wards.
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Peace Corps and USAid Helping in Parara Puru

Panama News
Jeff Redwine and US Ambassador William Eaton
Jeff Redwine and US Ambassador William Eaton

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This morning the US Ambassador to Panama William Eaton visited the Emberá community of Parara Puru on the Chagres river to recognize the accomplishments of Peace Corps volunteers and USAid projects to improve the lives of the community. Volunteers Cynthia and Jeff Redwine lived in the community for two years and are still in Panama but have since moved on and are doing other things. Among the improvements to the community realized during their time in the village include the construction of a a modern, western style latrine facility for tourists to use when visiting the community, as well as a fish pond to raise "tilapia", improvements to an ecological hiking trail, as well as training for tourist guides. (more)

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Transportation Strike Suspended

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The transportation strike programmed for tomorrow has been suspended. In a decision late this afternoon union leaders decided to suspend the strike they had programmed and to continue negotiations with the government.

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Doctor's Strike Continues

Protests & Demonstrations

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The strike by doctors who work for Panama's public medical system continues as the government of Panama contracted the services of five private clinics to treat some patients. The government also is docking the pay of some of those doctors who are not working. The decision to dock the pay of striking doctors has been applied unevenly because some hospital administrators had not notified Panama's General Comptroller's office in time for the deductions to take effect for this pay period.

Copyright 2007 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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Shey Ling Him Gordon to Represent Panama in Miss World Contest

Entertainment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The Miss World 2007 Final will take place at the Beauty Crown Theatre, Sanya, China on Saturday December 1st. Panama will be represented by Shey Ling HIM GORDON, from Penonome. From the official website - "Shey Ling grew up in the little, touristic, cosy town of Penonome. She has won many national Mathematics contests - her proudest moment was when she attained a gold medal. She is now taking an engineering degree and has a scholarship to study for her Masters. Hobbies and sporting interests are: basketball, all types of dance, listening to pop, rock & alternative music, playing the piano, reading, watching TV, going to the movies, and she enjoys eating Italian food. Her motto is: “It’s just the possibility to make a dream come true, that makes life interesting”.

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Man jailed after caught with cocaine in suitcase

Crime & Punishment KHOU.com staff report - A man on a layover in Houston is now jailed here. He was arrested after customs officers discovered 2.5 kilos of cocaine hidden in a false compartment of a suitcase. It’s worth about $30,000 dollars. Cleve McKenzie,22, was on his way to Connecticut from Panama when he was arrested at Bush Intercontinental Airport. (Editor's Comment: What a dumbass. This is exactly what I was talking about last week before this bonehead got caught and sent away for a long time. The only good news for this guy is that he got caught in the US. Prisons there might be hell, but they are Club Med compared to La Joya. Come to Panama, have a great time, leave the cocaine here. Really.)
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