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Saturday, November 22 2014 @ 05:10 AM EST

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Mostaza - Fine Dining in Casco Viejo

Food & Drink There are a few really great restaurants in Panama and Mostaza is clearly one of the best in the city. The restaurant opened in 2002 with the desire to provide visitors with the possibility of enjoying fine dining while surrounded by history. Mostaza is located in Casco Viejo at the intersection of Ave. A and 3rd Street, across the street from the ruins of the old Santo Domingo convent and the site of Panama's famous "flat arch" and is a natural best selection for anyone visiting the Casco Viejo area. Patrons choose from a varied menu of grilled meats, pastas, selected seafood and house specialties, all made with superb attention to detail and the finest ingredients personally selected by your host chef Jose Forestiero. A favorite of visiting diplomats and executives, Mostaza offers an exceptional dining experience at a moderate price, and guests can choose to dine at outside tables or inside the dining rooms of the award-winning historically restored building. Telephone numbers for the restaurant are 228-3341 and 228-8775.
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Hotel Owners and PPC Trying to Stop Mega-Port

Canal Expansion Hotel owners are asking President Martin Torrijos to relocate the plannen "mega-port" project. Representatives from the Panamanian Hotel Owners Association (APATEL) said that the construction of the project at the proposed site will make the area an industrial zone and will harm tourism and the hotel business. The mega-port project will require an investment between $600 to $800 million dollars and will general hundreds of jobs. The Panama Ports Company is also trying to stop the construciton of the mega-port, which will compete directly with them. The Panamanian Maritime Authority (AMP) will hold meetings with companies that have indicated an interest in building the project on 6 June. In addition, there's an official delegation from China in town this week to express their interest in the Panama Canal expansion project, and to pressure Torrijos to abandon Panama's diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.
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Super 99 Market Destroyed by Fire in Santiago

Panama News Yesterday the Super 99 grocery store on ninth street of Santiago was consumed by fire. Losses are estimated at $3 million dollars in merchandise, equipment, and property. The fire completely consumed the interior of the store. The fire started at approximately 5:45 am on Sunday morning and firement were alerted by residents in the area and passing taxi drivers. More than 50 paid and volunteer firemen responded and worked for five hours to put out the fire. Their efforts were hindered by the amount of flamable materials that were present in the building, and there were several small explosions. One volunteer fireman was treated for smoke inhalation. Fire Chief Ramón Marcos said their access was hindered because refrigerators and large shelves were placed against the interior walls. Firemen opened holes with sledgehammers in the external walls and cut holes in the roof to gain access to put out the flames. Marcos said fire inspectors will try to determine the cause of this fire.
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Funnel Cloud over Costa del Este

Weather Annette Quinn - The weather person for Channel 2 TVN showed photos this morning of a funnel cloud starting to form over the Costa de Este area last Thursday afternoon. The tornado never formed completely, and the funnel did not touch down, reach the ground, or cause any damage. I'm posting this as a reminder that tornadoes can and have occur in Panama, and I've seen a water spout form over the ship parking area in Panama Bay with my own eyes. This kind of thing is most likely to happen associated with strong thunderstorms that frequently hammer Panama with heavy rains and wind. Tornadoes in Panama are rare, and I can't remember the last time one actually touched down over land and caused damage, but just be aware that they can and do happen, sometimes.
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SUNTRACS & CAPAC Reach Agreement - Strike Called Off

Protests & Demonstrations The Construction Workers Union (Suntracs) and the Panamanian Camera of the Construction (CAPAC) reached an agreement last night on a new wage scale for construction workers, which will take effect in July. With this agreement SUNTRACS suspended the strike they had announced for today, Monday morning. Representatives from both sides worked to reach an agreement until 9:00 pm last night at the Plaza Paitilla Inn to put the finishing touches on a new collective barganing agreement that will remain in effect for the next four years and will cover all activity related to the expansion of the Panama Canal. Juan Rosero, a SUNTRACS secretary, said that the raises would be progressive and will go up over the next eight years. Rosero said wages for construction assistants will raise from $2.24 to $2.73 over eight years. An apprentence wil go from $2.52 to $3.08, and skilled workers will go from $3.07 to $3.67 dollars per hour.
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Albrook Inn - Safety and Security

Hotels From: Ronald Miller [mailto:akraft@(snip).net], Sent: Monday, May 29, 2006 5:52 AM, To: americans_in_panama@yahoogroups.com, Subject: [americans_in_panama] Re: Albrook Inn - We have been to Panama 5 times in the last 4 years and the scariest event so far was when we stayed at the Albrook Inn before flying to Isla Contadora last year. When we arrived at the Albrook Inn, we were greeted by a very nice bilingual women who checked us in. Seemed like a good place to stay, close to the airport and reasonably priced. I should mention that the doors for the rooms are house style doors with no night lock or safety latch or dead bolt. The only lock on our room was the lock in the door knob. Apparently when the night clerk came on duty at 5:00 pm, he didn't know we were already checked in our room and about midnight I was awakened by a key unlocking our door! He had rented our room to someone else. The room was small (the bed was right next to the door) and not knowing if we were being robbed or what, I lunged towards the door as it was opening, screaming "Get out of here!" and slamming the door shut. My wife woke up screaming and the young woman with the guy opening the door screamed and the couple immediatly left. I got up, put on my pants and went to the office to ask what the hell was going on. "Lo siento" was all I got. Needless to say we both were tired the next day as we got up early to catch our flight. Any other suggestions for a hotel close to Albrook? Ron
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Anybody Want to Buy an Airport?

Cars & TransportationPanama's Tourism Minister Rubén Blades said that the airport at Rio Hato in the province of Coclé might be sold to promote tourism. "There are some who say that the value of the area has greatly increased thanks to the success of the hotels in the area, and that the development of the airfield would promote the development of tourism, hotel projects, and real estate" indicated Blades. He explained that no specific offers have been made, that this is only his opinion, and that if the lands around Rio Hato were sold then the proceeds should be used to build a new airport in the region. He said a new international airport is required in the area. "Panama urgently needs a new international airport in the interior" he said. He added that it does not matter if the new facility is constructed by a private company, the government, or with mixed capital. (Editor's Comment: There have been persistant rumors of Disney's interest in land around the Rio Hato airport which have been frequently denied on all sides and are probably all just talk. But, a theme park in Panama near the Pacific beaches would make a fortune. You can't get a good roller-coaster ride in this country, anywhere, and people are starved for this kind of entertainment.)
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The "Commitee to Rescue Bocas del Toro"?

Protests & Demonstrations The president of the "Committee to Rescue Bocas del Toro" , Perla Campbell, said her organization has established a deadline of 3 June for national authorities to come to Isla Colon to address the issues they have raised. Campbell said the streets and the hospital are in disrepair and that water and electrical service are inadequate. She said they are engaged in a dialog with the directors of regional organizations and that they know about the problems but have done nothing to solve them. She said that faced with this lack of action her organization will have no other option than to force the issue. (Comment: This is a "last chance" type of news announcement, and Perla is trying to get some response to the problems they have raised. The reference to forcing the issue means they will probably protest and cause problems unless something is done.)


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A Look at Vehicular Homicides in Panama

Panama News The last year in Panama City 139 people died in traffic accidents, and another 327 people were injured. So far in 2006 there have been 40 deaths and 71 injuries. In most of these cases the guilty party does not go to jail because sentences of up to three years can be replaced by fines. And, legal cases can take years to be resolved in the courts. Katia Guerra is still waiting for a trial date in her case in which she was injured and her son was killed in 2003. And the hit and run case of Nicole Chevalier, which resulted in the death of César Augusto Silgado last Monday is not included in statistics for 2006 because her case is still pending before in the prosecutor's office. Ana Mae Jiménez explained that the law allows for those accused of negligent homicide to be released on bail as long as the person's police file does not contain any prior convictions, or if there is no indication that the person will flee the country if released. Chevalier was involved in another hit-and-run accident with a motorcycle on Albrook three days before she ran over and killed Silgado but that incident does not appear in her police file because the incident is still under investigation. The hearing for this case is scheduled for 2 June.
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Panama Women's Soccer Team Qualifies for Gold Cup

Sports Section The Panamanian women's soccer team beat Guatemala 3-0 today at the Rommel Fernández stadium in Panama City, and qualified to participate in the Soccer Federation Group B Gold Cup which will be played in the United States in November. Adela Machado opened the scoring at ten minutes into the game to give Panama a 1-0 lead. Panamanian Amarelis de Mera increased the lead to 2-0 at 24 minutes of the first half. The game could have been even more lopsided in favor of Panama and they blew several scoring opportunities offered up by Guatemala.
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Prime Forestry Bankrupt

Teak & ReforestationBy Tony Hetherington: FINANCIAL Mail readers were warned against it. Investment watchdogs in a dozen countries issued public alerts about it. But still the president of Panama cosied up to Prime Forestry, a shady Swiss company that claimed to offer 14% annual returns to anyone who put their savings into growing teak trees. Now Prime Forestry has been declared bankrupt and a political scandal is developing in the central American state as links emerge between the government and a Zurich businessman named as a one-time Mafia associate. Prime Forestry attracted an estimated £26m from more than 3,000 investors, many in Britain. They were told it would take 20 years for their trees to mature and be sold, but interim payments could be withdrawn after seven years. The company also claimed to be working on an ecological project with Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. However, last week the Smithsonian said: 'The Smithsonian and Yale University have no relationship of any kind with Prime Forestry.'
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An Informant's Tip Led Police to Military Weapons

Crime & Punishment The investigation against PRD member Cristóbal Humberto Salerno started with a tip from an informant who provided information to the National Police. This informant is now being identified with the codename "Centauro." The National Police Department of Intelligence and Investigation (DIIP) has a task force formed to combat weapons trafficking, and this element prepared a report on 10 May 2006 that started the investigation against Salerno. In the report another informant was cited and given the codename "Arquímedes." This DIIP report says that military grade weapons and explosives were being stored at the company called Norma González, that the weapons and explosives are the property of Salerno, and that Salerno has "connections to international weapons trafficking networks that sell weapons outside of Panama." Two days later, on 12 May 2006, Subcommissioner Humberto Brid, head of the DIIP, asked auxiliary public prosecutor Luis Martinez to authorize a search of the business premises located on 37th Street in Calidonia, between Avenues Peru and Cuba.
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Use Caution on Approach to Centennial Bridge

Cars & Transportation There have been several serious traffic accidents on the new highway approach to the Centienal Bridge. Today a bus went off the road and into the median ditch causing several minor injuries to passengers. These accidents have occurred in wet and rainy conditions, especially during heavy rains and downpours. It looks like the surface of the roads are not appropriate for the heavy rains that can occur in Panama and vehicles hydroplane off the road. So be aware, slow down, and use caution if you happen to be driving in this area in the rain.
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Remember This Word - Leishmaniasis

Healthcare There has been a recent increase in the number of reported cases of Leishmaniasis in Panama. Authorites from the Ministry of Health have been increasing their support and attention to patients in affected areas, with an emphasis on instructions on how to treat patients and deliveries of medicines used against the disease. The Head of Epidemiología of the CSS Erick Cabrera said they have analized the geographic distribution of people infected with Leishmaniasis and they are teaching the doctors in the areas on how to deal with the patients and treat the disease. Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by the bite of of a "chitra" or sand-flea that live in mountainous zones. Last month the CSS created a national-level clinic to treat Leishmaniasis patients. Health Minister Dr. Camilo Alleyne said that to the date there have been 856 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the country, with concentrations in
Aguacate (18), Lídice (17) and Ollas Arriba (15).
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Nicole Alexandra Chevalier Makes Bail in Hit-and-Run Case

Cars & TransportationPublic prosecutors have allowed 18 year-old Nicole Alexandra Chevalier to make bail at $8,000. She was being held for the hit-and-run death of César Silgado, 59-years old, who she apparently hit and killed on Calle 50 this week. Chevalier fled the scene of the accident and drove to her house. A taxi driver saw the accident, followed her to her home, and notified the police. Prosecutor Dimas Guevara said Chevalier was released on bail last Tuesday night after her family posted bail. Carlos Harris, a lawyer who is representing the Silgado family said there is evidence and testimony indicating Chevalier violated traffic regulations by speeding and leaving the scene of an accident. A couple of years ago there was a similar case in which a young and inexperienced driver killed someone in a car vs. pedestrian traffic accident and fled the scene. In that case, her family actually flew her out of the country to try to avoid prosecution. If you hit and hurt someone it's just an accident until you leave the scene.
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Sex with Minors All Over the News

Law & Lawyers This last week there's been at least three or four cases of adults (men) being caught with minors (school girls). In one case four guys in a bus bought a bunch of beer and had about six or eight girls in a "push-button," basically a flop-house used for quick sex encounters. In another case a math teacher was caught trading better grades for sex. In another, several young men in Cocle were offered $50 each to pose for a photographer who published the photos on a gay-sex website. And today there was a story about a 15-year old girl who is pregnant with the child of a 21-year old man. This higher awareness and sensitivity to the sexual exploitation of minors seems to have gained momentum following the discovery, exposure, investigation, and subsequent suicide of American pedophile Bruce Crosby in Bocas del Toro last month. The news outlets and government officials are focusing on any association between minors and adults for sex, and it's about time.
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Shaking the Pablo Rayo Montaño Drug Tree

Crime & Punishment The arrest of Pablo Rayo Montaño and the dismantleing of his drug trafficking ring is very big news in Panama. These guys purchased three islands off of the Panamanian coast near Portobello (las Tres Marias). For the last few days government investigators accompanied by television news crews have been crawling over, around, and through all of the differnt houses and properties owned by the different people associated with this drug ring. The road from Portobello to Sabanitas has been known for unusual late-night activities for years, and apparently much of that drug trafficking was being done by Pablo Rayo Montaño's network. So far the combined value of seized properties has reached more than $150 million dollars, and that's just in houses, cars, boats, and property. There's no telling how much money is still out there to be accounted for.
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Still No Agreemement - Construction Strike Pending

Panama News Negotiators from the SUNTRACS construction labor union and the Panamanian Construction Board (CAPAC) are talking right now at a hotel in Panama City, trying to reach an agreement on a wage increase for construction workers. SUNTRACS has threatened a nationwide strike scheduled to start on Monday, 29 May 2006. CAPAC has said that the construction workers are asking for too much of a raise, and when they started negotiating this afternoon there was still a lot of separation between the positions of the two sides. It's possible that they will reach an agreement either later this afternoon or tomorrow, but if they don't then hang on for Monday morning. The SUNTRACS guys can basically shut down the city because all of the construction workers simply close the streets in front of the sites they're working on. And where are these sites? Paitilla, Marbella, Balboa Ave, Costa del Este, San Francisco, Bella Vista, Obarrio, Punta Pacifica, basically all over the place. Gas up your car, go buy groceries, and stay home.
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Guest Book: A risk-taker with designs on Panama

Real Estate By Nancy Beth Jackson: AZUERO, Panama Gilles Saint-Gilles has designed has designed boutiques for Jean-Louis Scherrer, palaces for Arab princes and apartments for New York socialites, but two years ago he shuttered his studio on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, not to retire but to take a chance. "A little bit of insecurity is very important," he said, reclining in the Japanese teahouse he built on a hilltop here. "If you want to be creative, you have to like a little insecurity. Too well-installed, you lose the power of youth." Now 60, Saint-Gilles vacationed in Panama nine years ago and discovered the Azuero Peninsula, which juts into the Pacific roughly midway between Panama City and the Costa Rican border. Its rolling land, climate and calm reminded him of Tuscany. "It changed my life for me," he said. He saw the landscape as a canvas where he could create a beachfront community of luxurious villas and began buying tracts of land that would total 450 hectares, or 1,100 acres, near the fishing village of Pedasi. Three years later he brought craftsmen from France to train local artisans and began building Azueros.
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Superscape 3D Mobile Games on Movistar Panama

Entertainment HOOK, England, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Superscape Group plc (LSE: SPS) announces that two of its 3D mobile game titles are now available on the Movistar Panama network. The games are: Independence Day 4 3D, a game based on the 20th Century Fox film, players must save the world from alien invaders, and Superscape Basketball 3D, a fast-paced 2-on-2 basketball in stunning 3D where the camera follows the action of dazzling passes and in-your-face dunks. Players select a team, control passing, shooting, blocking, stealing, all-star play making alley-oops, behind the back and high flying jams. They can compete in single exhibition games or play a season against increasingly challenging teams. Kevin Roberts: "Movistar Panama is a new network for our games, and I am delighted that the two titles they have chosen for their customers are both compelling, state-of-the-art 3D games."
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Wabash football players gain insight from trip to Panama

Expat TalesThirty-nine Wabash College football players returned this week from a trip to Panama with plenty of memories. Among them was Warren Central High School graduate Bryan Engh, a safety heading to his junior year, who summed up the Little Giants' adventures this way: "Some people were saying it changes your viewpoint on your life. Some people were saying it made them more grateful for how well we live," said Engh, who took more than 400 pictures during the trip. "I think the word is 'enriched.' If you've ever thought about it, make time to do it. It was unbelievable." Players staged a football clinic for local youths. They won a game against a Panamanian team 18-0 and were put to shame in a pickup soccer game. The Little Giants also toured the Panama Canal, visited a local tribe in the jungle, and helped impoverished mountain farmers. Engh said the service days were especially meaningful. "I'm sure they would do a better job, but with 45 of us whacking away at it, I think we helped," Engh said. "I feel like a farmer now." A Spanish major, he served as the unofficial team translator. Engh said he learned so much, he wishes there was room in his schedule to study abroad. Each player did his own fundraising for the trip.
Said Engh: "It was well worth it."
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Panama Wants Ex-Nica Prez Extradited

Corruption Panama, May 26 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian authorities declared Friday they will continue seeking extradition of former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman, accused here of money laundering, despite a Managua Appellate Court ruling against on the grounds of unconstitutionality. Panama´s anti-corruption attorney Mercedes de Leon recognized that her country has no extradition agreements with Nicaragua, but related international accords could be used instead, as approved by the two States. She also pointed out an International Convention on corruption, singed by the two countries, which could be adopted as well. The Managua appeal on unconstitutionality hinders the possibility that Aleman is tried either in Panama or in the US. Aleman had nine societies running the same number of accounts in five Panamanian banks. Judge Adolfo Mejia recently issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of money laundering. The opening of a criminal case for expropriating 58.27 million dollars from the Nicaragua Treasury was also requested.
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Reggaeton's Queen hits the valley

Entertainment Royalty hits the stage this weekend as Ivy Queen - the first reggaeton star to come to the desert - performs at Fantasy Springs Casino Saturday. Reggaeton's raining diva is one of the leading figures in the popular genre, dominated for the most part by male artists. "She's one of the best, she does it like the guys," said Jay Rockbank, better known as DJ Jay at Zeldaz Nightclub in Palm Springs and one of the first local DJs to regularly play reggaeton music. "She parties like the guys and she's hot. She's going to pack the house." Born Martha Ivelisse Pesanta on March 4, 1972, in Puerto Rico, Ivy Queen has been at the head of the reggaeton movement that has exploded in the United States with many artists selling in the millions and packing concert venues nationwide. The beat is hip-hop, fused with dancehall reggae, merengue, salsa and cumbia, and the lyrics are in Spanish. Reggaeton has its roots in Panama, where Spanish-language reggae was developed in the '70s by Jamaican descendants of immigrants who helped build the Panama Canal.
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Panama: Sworn Statement Of Capital Gains In Panama

Law & Lawyers Article by Rodrigo Julio Molina Ortega: Law No. 5 of January 25, 2006 modifying Article 5 of Law 108 of 1974 which grants incentives for exports and indicates other provisions", sets forth, in its Article 2, that it modified Article 701 of the Fiscal Code, to wit: "Article 701. With the purpose of calculating the Income Tax for the cases mentioned below, the following rules must be followed: In the case of earnings resulting from the disposal of immovable property, the taxable income will be the difference between the real sale value and the sum of the asset’s basic cost, the amount of the improvements made and the expenses necessary to carry out the transaction. If the sale of immovable assets fall within the taxpayer’s regular dispatch of business, the payable tax will be calculated based on the rates established in Articles 699 or 700 of the Fiscal Code. In the event the sale of immovable property does not fall within the taxpayer’s regular dispatch of business, the taxpayer will pay an income tax amount based on a fixed and final 10% (ten percent) rate, payable prior to the registration of the corresponding Public Deed at the Public Registry, together with the two percent (2%) Immovable Property Transfer Tax. In such cases, the relevant sale shall not be counted in determining the taxpayer’s taxable income and the taxpayer will not be able to deduct the amount of the transfer tax incurred. The Income Directorate General of the Ministry of Economy and Finance is hereby empowered to regulate this matter.
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From sea to sea: PANAMA CANAL

Canal Expansion MITCHELL SMYTH - One hundred years ago, a colossal project was begun to lift ships over mountains. Eight years later, a canal linked the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and saved a 12,500-kilometre trip around South America. They said it couldn't be done. And it couldn't. "It" meant a ditch, at sea level, across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific at the place where only 80 kilometres of land separates the two oceans. A century ago debate was swirling here in the newly created country of Panama - which until 1903 had been a province of Colombia - over how to build the canal. The advantages were obvious: it would slice 12,500 kilometres off the sea journey between the U.S. east and west coasts, a tremendous saving in time and money for an emerging industrial country. The French had tried it, between 1881 and 1898, but heat, rain and disease (especially yellow fever and malaria) defeated them. And their engineering was suspect. Having built the Suez Canal, they thought they could do the same in Panama. But Suez was a sea-level canal, through sandy desert; in Panama the mountains of the Continental Divide ran down the spine of the country.

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The Panamanian Prison System

Crime & PunishmentAccording to statistics from the Panamanian Ministry of Government and Justice there are currently 11,687 people being held in prison facilities throughout the country. In 2006 the government spent $12.01 million on the prison system. By simply dividing the number of prisoners against the budget, the government is spending $1,027.63 to house and feed each inmate. Salaries in the 2006 budget jumped to $7,105,300.00 in 2006, up from $5,580,748.00 in 2005, or an increase of 27% in one year. That means that 59% of the budget went to salaries. All of the prison facilities in Panama are chronically over-crowded. You can build a lot of space with $2 million dollars. By the way, the hunger strike organized for earlier this week was basically a bust, and was generally unsupported by the prisoners. It was a publicity stunt for the most part anyway.
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Progress Reported on Freedom of Expression in the Americas

Law & Lawyers By Eric Green: Washington -- Progress is being made on promotion of free expression in the Western Hemisphere, says a human rights official with the Organization of American States (OAS). In May 19 remarks, Santiago Canton, executive secretary of the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, said he welcomed the repeal by nine countries in the region of laws that make criticism of public officials a crime. Such so-called "contempt" laws (known in Spanish as “desacato”) prohibit the media from showing “disrespect” to public officials. The OAS said the countries that have repealed such contempt laws are Argentina, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Chile, the OAS said, has repealed the contempt law in part. Repeal of such laws is an "acknowledgement that these laws are incompatible with right to freedom of expression," said Canton, speaking at a forum on press freedom in the Americas at OAS headquarters in Washington
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Panama 1st-qtr economic activity surges near 7 pct

Money Matters PANAMA CITY, May 24 (Reuters) - Panama's economic activity surged nearly 7 percent in the first three months of the year due to strong performance in the transport, leisure and construction sectors, the government said on Wednesday. Economic activity grew by 6.87 percent in the first quarter, the country's statistics office said. Seen as a proxy for gross domestic product, the economic output figures cover most, but not all, activity observed in broader GDP measurements. GDP figures for the first quarter of 2006 are expected in mid-June. Increased port activity and traffic through Panama's interoceanic canal as well as a strong gambling sector boosted growth, the government said. The Panama Canal, a key trade route and the cornerstone of Panama's economy, saw toll payments rise 23 percent as ship crossings rose 3.5 percent. Panama's GDP grew 6.4 percent last year, one of the highest rates in Latin America. Panama, Central America's largest issuer of sovereign debt, has forecast 2006 growth at between 6 and 6.5 percent.
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Panama Freezes Funds of Aleman Cronies

Corruption Panama, May 24 (Prensa Latina) The Panamanian Public Ministry bluntly refused to release four of the frozen nine million dollars that were in hands of collaborators of ex Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman. Anti-Corruption Attorney Mercedes de Leon said Third Judge Adolfo Mejia´s ruling on definitive dismissal and refund of goods is inconsistent with proceedings against Aleman. Mejia seeks to return the money to Ethel and Valeria Jerez, wife and daughter of Byron Perez, ex chief of government funds during the Aleman presidency. “There is conclusive evidence showing those funds belonged to the Nicaraguan Treasury,” noted de Leon, who vowed to request extradition in cases related to money laundering, in which the ex Nicaraguan president is held as the main accused. Recently, Judge Mejia ruled to arrest Aleman because there was enough proof against him, his wife, his father-in-law and his ex tax collector, who are charged with money laundering. He also proposed opening a case regarding the laundering of 58.3 million dollars from the General Treasury deposited in Panamanian banks. Aleman is currently serving a 20-year sentence (as house arrest given his health conditions), and warrants were issued for his wife, Maria Fernanda Flores de Aleman; her father, Jose Antonio Flores Lovo, and ex government fund chief Byron Jerez. According to documents, Aleman, whose mandate lasted from 1997 to 2002, and his cronies took the over 58.2 million dollars from the treasury
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Huge drug haul expected

Crime & Punishment VICTORIA -- The RCMP said yesterday they expect to find a huge stash of illegal drugs as they comb through a large fishing vessel, Bakur, seized off Vancouver Island Tuesday. Police had been tracking it since it left Halifax in December, travelling down the East Coast, through the Panama Canal, then up to Canada. Five men have been charged with drug trafficking. http://torontosun.com/News/OtherNews/2006/05/25/1596648-sun.html


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