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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 12:47 PM EDT

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Panama: Coosemupar suspends delivery of bananas

Money Matters By Jahir Lombana for Freshplaza.com - Since last Monday, Coosemupar (Cooperative of banana producers in Puerto Armuelles-Panama) suspended banana deliveries to Chiquita as a request of the Manager Hirisnel Sucre. One month ago, Coosemupar and Chiquita reviewed the business contract to improve its conditions and prices according to production costs. The manager invokes the 6th clause of the contract which states that if one of the two parts is economically affected, it would be possible to suspend partially or totally the contract without any judicial order. (more)
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Fitch Expects to Rate Panama's Trump Ocean Club Sr. Secured Notes 'BB'

Real EstateFitch Ratings has assigned a preliminary 'BB' rating to Newland International Properties, Corp.'s (Newland) senior secured notes. Newland is developing the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, a multi-use tower located on the Punta Pacifica Peninsula in Panama City, Panama. Fitch currently rates Panama 'BB+' with a Stable Rating Outlook. When fully developed, Trump Ocean Club expects to have luxury accommodations for both permanent residents and tourists alike. Plans call for 627 residential condo units, 369 hotel-condo units, a casino, a pier facility, a yacht club, pool decks, retail shops, gourmet restaurants, a fitness center and spa, along with a parking garage of more than 1,400 spaces. All unit sales within the project benefit from a license agreement signed by Newland with Trump International. The target market for sales focuses on upper-income buyers in the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. (more)
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Panama Canal Lures Bidders for $3.2 Billion Project

Canal ExpansionBy Carlos Barletta (Bloomberg) -- The Panama Canal Authority said four consortiums submitted papers indicating they plan to bid on a $3.2 billion contract to install new locks in the waterway. The groups include 30 companies in 13 countries, the authority said today in an e-mailed statement. Participants include Germany's Bilfinger Berger AG, Mexico's Empresas ICA SAB, Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. and Bechtel Group Inc. of the U.S. The locks construction project makes up 60 percent of the total cost of the authority's $5.25 billion expansion plan for the 93-year-old waterway. Widening and deepening the waterway will allow bigger ships to pass through the canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. (more)
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Panama's Consumer Prices Increase Most in 14 Years

Money MattersBy Carlos Barletta (Bloomberg) -- Panama's inflation rose at the fastest pace in more than 14 years last month because of increased costs for transportation and housing and utilities. Consumer prices climbed 5.5 percent in October from the same month a year earlier, and rose 0.5 percent from September, the country's statistics agency said today on its Web site. Near-record prices for oil are increasing the costs of transportation, and higher prices for electricity and natural gas and also fueling inflation. Increased consumption is also being fueled by economic growth, which reached 9.6 percent in the second quarter, boosted by 18.5 percent expansion of the construction industry. (more)
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"M" Takes Off To Panama

Entertainment By Matt Weston for Commander Bond.net - According to a report from Yahoo! News UK, Dame Judi Dench’s “M” will head to Panama in the next James Bond picture. The actress said, “‘M’ is off to Panama - there’s a big adventure with James. Mind you, I’ll be too busy flirting with Daniel Craig. He is gorgeous.” If accurate, the news confirms reports that Panama would feature in next year’s Bond 22. At September’s National Movie Awards, the actress revealed her character would once again be in the field, having last year briefed Daniel Craig’s 007 in the Bahamas. Bond 22 will mark Dame Judi’s sixth appearance as “M”.
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National Police Rounding Up Illegal Aliens in Panama

Crime & PunishmentEl Siglo - In the last hours, units of the National Police conducting a nationwide operation have resulted in the detention of several foreigners who are in the country illegally, including four Chinese, a Costa Rican, two Colombians, and one from the Dominican Republic. Through the use of a checkpoint on the bridge San San, located on the main road of Guabito in Changuinola, police reported the detention of illegal aliens Liz Zhin Hua Li (35), Shu Maggie (21), Jockey Zhu Ping (18), Guilian Song (45), and Horacio Reyes (29) from Costa Rica. Meanwhile, units from the Traffic Department in the Province of Coclé arrested Joaquin Pinilla Restrepo (32) and Ángela Maria Correa Domínguez (29). Joaquin Pinilla entered the country on 18 June 2006 whereas Ángela Maria Correa arrived on 2 August 2007, both were on expired visas. (more)
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On The Run For Eleven Years - Real Life Prison Break

Crime & PunishmentBy Rocío I. Martins A. for La Critica - Edgar Eliécer Acosta Santos, alias "Fulo", stayed on the run for eleven years after having escaped from the Santo Tomas hospital in June of 1996, where he had been transfered from La Joya, to be treated for a back problem. In the early morning hours on Monday police recaptured him in the Pedernal of Chilibre where he was partying at a dance. "Fulo" only had 12 months remaining on his sentence for robbery. Now he will be facing additional time for escape and evasion.
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Mo money - Yanks' record-setting offer is a no-brainer for Rivera

Sports Section Sports Illustrated - Someday soon, maybe even today, Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest pitcher to ever consistently nail down the last few outs of a game, will look at the money that the Yankees are showing him -- more per year than any reliever ever has been offered -- smile broadly and sign on the dotted line. Is there really any doubt? The only team for which Rivera has ever pitched, the one with which he says he wants to finish his career, has offered him some $4 million a year more than any reliever has ever made. This is no time to play coy. This is time to take the money and run, before some Steinbrenner in the front office comes to his senses.
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The FTA Is On Track - Samuel Lewis Navarro

PoliticsBy Manuel Luna G. for La Estrella de Panama - In an attempt to help the private sector regain confidence in the future of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States, Panama's First Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro said that the commercial agreement is following its course and that the Panamanian government is staying in contact with American senators. There are people who would vote against the Free Trade Agreement said Lewis Navarro, in reference to Senator Hillary Clinton. He added that the important thing is to obtain the endorsement of the majority. "In that we continue to work."
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Sergio González Ruiz Adds Himself to the List of Opposition Presidential Candidates

Politics By Eneida Prieto for the Panama America - The panorama for Panama's opposition political parties is not getting any clearer, even though parties such as MOLIRENA have already created their new structure. The recently elected President of MOLIRENA Sergio González Ruiz, would add himself to the list of those aspiring for the Presidency of Panama in the next national elections in 2009. González Ruiz said if the members of his party propose him as a presidential candidate he would run saying "one should never say no to this type of challenge put to us by the Panamanian people." He said the opposition "is screaming for unification, which is why I will work to comply, I am a faithful believer who thinks we must look for a consensus candidate". (more)
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SUNTRACS Receives More Than $5 million Per Year

Groups & OrganizationsLa Prensa The National Front for the Defense of Economic and Social Rights (Frenadeso) is a step closer towards obtaining a valuable tool to gain access to the millions of dollars received by its main ally, the Sindicato Único Nacional de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Similares (Suntracs). On 27 September 2007 Saúl Méndez requested from the Public Registry the inscription of a private interest foundation named "Frenadeso". In the documents Méndez, the secretary of the Suntracs organization, did not detail who would be the beneficiaries of the new foundation: that will be reserved for internal regulation which can be done in private and out of public view. (more)
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Want To Make Some Money? Buy PTQMF

Gold & Mining

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Petaquilla is going to announce the production of their first ounce of gold in either late December or early January 2008. When that happens you can expect a nice spike in the stock price, the last of three surges that happen to a gold or mineral stock for a company that's bringing a mine on-line. They already had two earlier boosts, the first when they announced the intent to put the mine into production, and another when they started building their base camp. (more)

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The (Lack of A) Case Against Richard Fifer

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I've heard Eric Jackson ranting for years about "the case against Richard Fifer for embezzlement of public funds while he was governor of Cocle." So, I decided to look into it. Here's what actually happened. When Richard Fifer was named as the Governor of Cocle he moved into the Governor's (mansion?) and there was no furniture in the building. So, using his own funds, he bought some furniture. When his time was up he moved out and took his furniture with him. The new guy, finding there was no furniture in the building, filed a complaint. It was investigated and when the facts came out and were verified it was dropped. It was never prosecuted, and never will be, because (in truth and in fact) there was no crime committed. No matter. In order to continue reading Eric Jackson you will have to keep being able to put truth and fact aside to endure his rants against his chosen targets, and Richard Fifer, the CEO of Petaquilla Minerals, is on his "froth" list. Thought you might like to know.

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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Chu Diaz Wins in Legal Battle with Olloqui Over Palacio de la Bahia

Law & Lawyers

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just received a telephone call from Jesus "Chu" Diaz, the original architect for the Palacio de la Bahia building. Construction started on this project in July of 2006, but at that time Chu and the Spaniard Adolfo Olloqui were in a conflict over his fees. What happened (over time) was that Olloqui had ordered several significant changes and modifications to the design of the building, basically causing Chu to have to toss out the plans and start over from scratch. For example, Olloqui would simply say "I want there to be a restaurant on the roof, and I want it to spin..." (more)

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Gutted Murderer

Crime & Punishment By Jaime A. Saldaña for La Critica - At first sight the murder by machete strikes of Enelda Camarena at hands of Humberto Venado seems like a common crime of passion. But that changed when the horrible facts of the murder were discovered during the investigation. Apparently, Venado had attacked and injured Enelda with the machete, and thinking he had killed her he turned the machete on himself with the intent to commit suicide, opening up his abdomen. When he saw that Enelda got up to run away, the killer reintroduced his intestines into his body cavity, chased down Enelda, reached her and finished her off with 13 machete blows.
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Doctor's Suspend Scheduled Meeting With Government

Protests & DemonstrationsBy MEREDITH SERRACIN for the Panama America - Panama's Health Minister Rosario Turner and the Director of the Office of Social Security René Luciani were left waiting for the representatives of medical union COMENENAL who did not arrive at the meeting scheduled for 10 am this morning. The doctors decided to suspend the meeting because they are still discussing in a general assembly their counter proposal which they will present to the government, in response to an offer for a 7% wage increase, which represents an increase of between $75 to $100 per month in their wages. This information was offered by Eylina Alvarado, the President of a group of General Medicine doctors who arrived at the offices of the Ministry of Health. According to Alvarado the meeting has been reprogrammed for tomorrow morning at 10:00 am, with the objective to find solutions and to end the doctor's strike.
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Gomez Asks to have Complaint Against Cornejo Thrown Out

Law & LawyersBy José Otero for La Prensa - Panama's Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez asked the Criminal Court of Panama's Supreme Court to dismiss the criminal complaint filed against Anti Corruption Prosecutor Maribel Cornejo last July by the President of Panama's Supreme Court Graciela Dixon. In her opinion which was sent to the Supreme Court yesterday, Gomez recommends the dismissal of the charges for alleged abuse of office for supposedly using her position to attempt to prosecute government officials. According to the 35 page opinion, there was no bad intent in the performance of Cornejo. In the complaint Dixon indicates Cornejo investigated a decision of the Supreme Court without having the legal authority to do so. The Criminal Court of the Supreme Court is comprised of judges Dixon, Aníbal Salas and Esmeralda de Troitiño. Carlos Muñoz Pope, lawyer of Cornejo, said this request does not surprise him because it was demonstrated that his client never broke the law. Cornejo is on vacation until the 6 of December.
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Copa Holdings Announces 10.8% Traffic Growth for October 2007

Cars & Transportation PANAMA CITY, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Holdings, S.A. , and its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, today released preliminary passenger traffic statistics for October 2007. For the month of October 2007, Copa Holdings' system-wide passenger traffic (RPM) increased 10.8%, while capacity (ASM) increased 17.9%. System load factor for October 2007 was 69.3%, a 4.4 percentage point decrease when compared to October 2006. Copa Airlines passenger traffic (RPM) for October 2007 increased 16.1% while capacity (ASM) increased 21.7%. This resulted in a load factor of 72.2%, a 3.5 percentage point decrease when compared to October 2006. (more)
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Key Figure in Schueler "Gringo Gang Bang" Case Executed

Crime & PunishmentLa Critica - Henry Marshall, 35 years-old, was found dead next to the road that leads to the Sea Cliff development in Antón. The body had a gunshot wound in the nape of the neck. Marshall was wearing a shirt, shorts, and sandals, had $8 dollars in his pants pocket, was wearing a watch, and keys to a Lexus.

Editor's Comment: This dead guy is actually Ruperto Antonio ("Tony") Henry Marshall, a key figure in the Richard Schueler "Gringo Gang-Bang" case. Richard Schueler trusted Tony with legal power and signature authority for the companies he established in Panama. Tony then illegally used that power to transfer all of Schueler's assets to Alfredo Vallarino Alemán and the other lawyers who did the number on Schueler. And who really owns the Lexus the dead man was driving? Schueler... (more)

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ANCON Raising Protest Over Petaquilla Environmental Damage

Gold & Mining By Yelena Rodriguez for the Panama America - Although the company has not yet initiated the extraction of minerals in Petaquilla and Molejón in the Colón province, those who live in affected communities and conservationists are asking governmental authorities to stop this project. Apparently nothing can stop them because from the start of this ambitious project the company has been protected with a "Contract Law of the Republic" that the Petaquilla Minerals company signed with the Panamanian government in 1997. Paradoxicalally, that same year, while the right was granted to the company "to extract, operate, benefit, process, refine, transport, sell, and commercialize gold, copper, and other minerals" the Chiefs of State of Central America created, in June, in a meeting made in Panama, the Meso American Biologocial Corridor (CBM). (more)
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New President of MOLIRENA - Sergio González Ruiz

Politics By Rafael Quezada for La Prensa - Lawyer and businessman Sergio González Ruiz became the President of Panama's opposition Liberal Republican Movement (Molirena) political party yesterday, beating out Gisela Chung who was running for reelection. The party's new president made a call for the unification of all opposition political parties to the leaders of the other major parties - the Cambio Democratico (Ricardo Martinelli), Partido Panameñista (Juan Carlos Varela), Vanguardia Moral de la Patria (Guillermo Endara), and the Unión Patriótica (Billy Ford.) González Ruiz obtained 369 votes from party delegates compared to 330 for Chung.
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Leading Medical Tourism Company signs with Largest Hospitals in Panama

Healthcare(PRLog.Org) – Nov 10, 2007 – Panama-- Pana-Health, Corp., Panama's premier Medical Tourism Company, have recently signed affiliation contracts with the two largest, and most experienced Hospitals in Panama, Clinica Hospital San Fernando and Centro Medico Paitilla. These two Hospitals have over 30 years of experience in the medical arena, are equipped with state of the art technology, and have affiliations to highly distinguished international Institutions such as Cleveland Clinic, Tulane University Medical Center of New Orleans, Baptist Hospital South Florida and Miami Children's Hospital, among others. These alliances strengthen Panama's medical choices to patients looking for first class medical services that are, both, closer to home and affordable. Pana-Health was founded in 2003 by a small group of doctors and has rapidly grown to become a Company with over 150 of the best doctors in Panama. Membership is by invitation only, and after peer recommendation and review. Pana-Health brings personalized attention to all medical travelers, helping them to find the best doctors in Panama for their specific needs, as well as handle consultations and appointment scheduling. Its alliance with Pesantez Tours, the largest tour operator in Panama, gives Pana-Health the capacity to take care of transportation, lodging and any type of tourism that the patient wishes to do while visiting the country.
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Cosco sets up subsidiaries in Panama

Foreign Direct InvestmentSINGAPORE/PANAMA: Cosco Corp. (Singapore) Ltd., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cosco (Singapore) Pte Ltd., incorporated two wholly-owned subsidiaries in Panama on Oct. 30. The subsidiaries, Cos Knight Shipping Maritime Inc. and Cos Lucky Shipping Maritime Inc., each set up with an authorized capital of US$10,000 and paid-up capital of US$2, will be involved in the acquisition of vessels on behalf of Cosco.
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VFW Opens Office in Punta Pacifica Hospital

Groups & OrganizationsThe Latin America/Caribbean VFW is proud to inform you of the following: The Punta Pacifica Hospital Veterans Office is officially open as of 1000 hours 12 November 2007. We will be open 5 days a week (Monday-Friday, except Holidays - that includes US and Panamanian Holidays) with hours from 1000 hours to 1500 hours. NOTE: There will be volunteer Service Officer assigned each day to assist you and will schedule you for an appointment with the DSO. We look forward in serving you and meeting your needs. We are located at the Emergency Entrance of Punta Pacifica Hospital in Panama City, Panama. Michael ROBBY Robinson, 011-507-6-489-1239 cell, panamarobby@gmail.com
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Single Family Homes with Ocean Views, less than 30 Minutes from downtown Panama City

Real Estate Three Bedroom Homes with stunning Pacific Ocean Views located less than 30 minutes from downtown Panama City. The ocean view homes will be constructed on terraced lots which are roughly 663 to 706 m2 in size. Each lot boasts unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, islands of the Las Perlas Archipelago (Pearl Islands) as well as ships waiting to transit the Panama Canal. The homes are currently under construction and will consist of a kitchen, living room, dining room, 3 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms plus an additional maids room all on one level. Each of the 8 homes in the development is being constructed to take full advantage of the gorgeous views. (more)
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Another Email In Support of Rex Freeman

Expat TalesDear Mr Winner:

Recently I read your editorial regarding Eric Jackson and Rex Freeman. You are to be congratulated for your exemplary journalism. It is obvious that you are a man possessing uncommon journalistic talent. Your article shows that you are unbiased in your reporting; that you have genuine respect for and a desire to ferret out the unvarnished truth concerning the subjects about which you write.

With the foregoing in mind permit me to throw more Light on the subject of Rex Freeman and the assault on his character by Eric Jackson. I will attempt to keep my comments as succinct as possible, as I know you are a busy gentleman. (more)

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An Email In Support of Rex Freeman

Expat TalesHello Don; My name is Ed Weatherall, I live in the states and have been involved with Rex Freeman in business dealings for something over five years now.

I read your article today on the panama-guide site and wanted to give my thanks for offering Rex the chance to have a public voice. I was involved with Rex during the time when the business dealings that prompted these accusations took place; and while I am not privy to the details, I do know the way Rex conducts business and can vouch for his ethical business convictions. There is no way the accusations against Rex are true....and are indeed the result of lower level people trying to make gain by using the legal process to their advantage. We are faced with this in the states all the time....ie law suits, injury complaint suits etc. (more)

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Charged in socialite's murder, suspect waits in Panama jail

Crime & Punishment
Debra Ann Ridgley Adjusts Her Bunk (Photo Courtesy of www.panama-guide.com)
Debra Ann Ridgley Adjusts Her Bunk (Photo Courtesy of www.panama-guide.com)
By PETER N. SPENCER For The STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE - STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- For seven months, Debra Ann Ridgley, the woman charged in the grisly murder of Staten Islander Toni Grossi Abrams, has been waiting in a Panama City jail for her day in court. But recently prosecutors from the Central American country have indicated they will soon forward the case for trial in a Panama Superior Court. When they do, 56-year-old western Pennsylvania resident and her defense attorney will have a daunting legal task ahead of them. Beside a mound of damning evidence -- which includes an eyewitness, video surveillance tape, DNA from the scene and the blood-spattered murder weapon -- Ms. Ridgley also finds herself in a foreign country, where she doesn't speak the language and has almost no familiarity with a legal system very different from that of the United States. (more)
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Public Doctor's Strike Runs Into Fifth Day

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Urania Cecilia Molina for La Prensa - Point number nine in the list of ten issues being discussed between the health authorities of the Panamanian government and the public doctors of the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal) has emerged as a sticking point in the negotiations. After three and a half hours talks, differences over the payment of overtime has caused the strike to run into its fifth day. Health Minister Rosario Turner proposes that overtime be paid according to the organic law of the Office of Social Security and the Administrative Code which regulates functionaries, while Comenenal is demanding they be paid in accordance to the Labor Code. Turner says the government can not accept this demand because it would mean "enormous expenses" to the system and would be illegal. Julio Garcia Valarini, the spokesman for Comenenal, said that if the government cannot pay for overtime then they cannot require that the time be worked.
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Lazy, Incomplete, Biased, and Inaccurate - The Trademark of Eric Jackson

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A web site called AM Costa Rica published an article yesterday entitled "Agents investigating expat financial figure and wife". The article is about Mark Emory Boswell (a.k.a. Rex Freeman) who runs Foreign Currency Exchange (Forex) training operations in Panama and Costa Rica. I met this guy (his name is Mark Boswell but he prefers to go by Rex Freeman) a couple of months ago at the Veneto Hotel and Casino. When he introduced himself, it took a minute for the name to register and then I realized - "Hey, aren't you the guy that's sueing Eric Jackson for slander?" Yup, same guy... (more)

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