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Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:06 am EDT

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Bank Robbers Steal $80,000 From HSBC Branch in Rio Abajo

Crime & PunishmentThe National Police has launched an operation in the areas adjacent to the site of the robbery to try to capture the outlaws. Three men and a woman came to the HSBC bank branch in Rio Abajo, using masks, wigs and guns they managed to steal $80,000. After the robbery, the robbers escaped in a van that they later abandoned in Rio Abajo Calle 17. Detectives from the Directorate of Judicial Investigation are analyzing security videos. (Panama America)
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Police Sergeant Killed His Wife And Another Man

Crime & PunishmentLast night a police sergeant shot and killed his wife and another man, after going into a church where they were located, in the sector of El Veredón, in the Turín de Don Bosco, San Miguelito. The police sergeant Joseph Becker turned himself in immediately. His wife, Maria Justa Rivas, 45, was shot twice and died at the San Miguel Arcángel hospital, where she had been taken by a police patrol car, number 80301. The other victim is Luis Perez Cubillas, 58, who was shot in the back, and he died at the health clinic in San Isidro. (Critica)

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Former Financial Pacific Employee Cooperating With Prosecutors

Crime & Punishment"Mayte Pellegrini is not responsible for the loss of the $6 million Financial Pacific claimed she was responsible for," said her defense lawyer Mauricio Ceballos last night.

Pellegrini, who has been testifying before the Thirteenth Circuit Prosecutor for the past two days, negotiated her surrender according to her lawyer, and she came to clarify that she had nothing to do with the case, and she is giving details about how the transactions moved.

According to her, in her role in Financial Pacific, the former employee did not have the power to move client's money, she was only an employee, and she took orders from "those who could" move the money.

Apparently within the statements made by Pellegrini, she is providing many details that she knows, which she knows were not contained in the original complaint put forward by the directors of Financial Pacific.

Together with the defendant her brother and parents were also detained, but the latter could receive a different provisional measure, given their health and advanced age.

The lawyer said Pellegrini has remained for a couple of days "declaring and clarifying a number of inaccuracies which lie within the statements in the file, and trying to make light for the prosecutor about how the client's money was moved," he said.

He added that she does not have much of the evidence, which rests within the company. "Now it is the prosecutor who must issue the orders to practice the corresponding inspections of the narratives, to see which version is true," he said.

While the company accused her of being directly responsible for the loss of the money, the lawyer said the charges presented by the company only seek to undermine the possible crimes denounced by the Superintendency of Market Securities. (Estrella)

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Criminal Charges Dismissed Against De la Guardia Brothers in Adelag Case

Crime & PunishmentThe brothers Carlos and Aquilino De La Guardia had to wait more than eleven years until three days ago they were acquitted of "crime against the national economy" and the order to lift the restraining order issued against them.

The judge Georgina Tuñón of the Fifteenth Criminal Court of the First Circuit of Panama issued the ruling on 19 November 2012 in favor of the brothers, who were the stars of one of the most controversial bankruptcy cases of the last decade, in which were involved creditors and banks, who asked at the time that the bankruptcy be declared as fraudulent.

On legal grounds, the judge stated that the evidence collected in the bankruptcy process warned that in the plan "participated financial institutions that because of the work they were performing, should have had knowledge about the feasibility or otherwise of this."

She added no evidence was provided in the criminal proceedings that would allow one to arrive at the conclusion that in this case there was intentional or fraudulent bankruptcy, which is consistent with the views expressed by four people who testified in the investigations as experts, and another three who testified as witnesses.

On the other hand, the investigating officer did not provide any form of evidence there was a formal assessment that a state of bankruptcy existed.

In the decisions issued by the Seventeenth Circuit Civil Court it is indicated the Adelag group was formally declared to be in bankruptcy "for now," but for purpose of making the declaration of criminal responsibility for the crime of fraudulent or willful bankruptcy, in the first place, no conditions can be applied to the declaration of bankruptcy, indicating it is provisional or temporary, says judge Tuñón.

The attorney representing Carlos De La Guardia, Carlos Carrillo Gomila, joyfully received the ruling in which it was found, in his words, that in the process there was no fraud, and there was a prior agreement between the group and the creditor banks, before the civil judge who was handling the bankruptcy case, in which the respective compensation was established.

These agreements or concordats signed between the parties restored the ability of Mr. De La Guardia to perform acts of commerce, and the credits and debts were paid mostly with funds that were received.

The judge noted that the deciding concordat represented a viable solution to the problem of bankruptcy, as it is more favorable to the parties to the conflict before a long and expensive process.

This agreement was reached in August 2008, in the Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court, and as a result thereof, the De la Guardia brothers agreed to pay the debts of more than $23 million.

Background - After the collapse of Adelag group, made up of the companies Financiera El Roble, El Triángulo, Tecno Auto, Tecno Taller, El Eléctrico Internacional, Unicentro Trading Company and Adelag, 62 creditors demanded payment of more than $120 million in debt, which included 23 banks.

The workers in these companies, despite having priority in the bankruptcy process, preferring to collect their benefits separately.

The Fourteenth Prosecutor opened an official investigation in September 2001 and after seven years of research, in August 2008 held a preliminary hearing was held, in the criminal case that was opened against the accused.

However, during the same period the decisive concordat was signed, in which 49 of the 62 companies to which the group owed money agreed they should discontinue the criminal proceedings.

The brothers De La Guardia still face another legal process. (Panama America)

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Suspect Arrested In Financial Pacific Fraud Case in Panama City

Crime & Punishment Yesterday the Public Ministry confirmed the arrest of a key suspect in the alleged illegal transfer of money belonging to the brokerage company Financial Pacific. The suspect was turned over to the Thirteenth Circuit Prosecutor in Panama City and is being questioned in the case.

Editor's Comment: You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers (members) who have logged in to their accounts can see the full text of this article. However non-members can only see this short introduction.

If you would like to subscribe, please click on the button below to pay the $20 (cheap) annual subscription fee via PayPal;


This Is Another Test Article: Anonymous users can only see this article - which contains just the headline and the first sentence of the article. Members who have paid the subscription fee and logged in to their user account on this website will see the full text of the article, and my comments. I will be putting up one of these per day between now and 1 December 2012 and the full implementation of the "pay wall."

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Mauro Velocci Says The Emails Are From Lavitola's Account, Not Martinelli's

Crime & PunishmentThe Italian businessman Mauro Velocci, who was part of a negotiation with the Panamanian government for the construction of modular prisons, and who denounced alleged bribery in Italy, came to the support of the PRD's Balbina Herrera, who recently received an injunction, prevented her from leaving the country.

The injunction against Herrera came after she appeared before the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor to give her sworn statement in the investigation being conducted for the alleged crimes against the inviolability of secrecy and privacy, to the detriment of the president, Ricardo Martinelli; because on 5 December 2011 Herrera revealed the content of emails given to her by Velocci, showing the relationship between Martinelli and Lavitola, the latter accused of bribery in negotiations with Panama.

Velocci said on Telemetro Reports that neither he nor Herrera have done anything wrong, or against Panama, and instead, the emails help the Panamanian people.

"I do not know why I am accused, and a person as valuable as Mrs. Herrera" said the former representative of the Svemark consortium in Panama.

The Italian said he does not understand why they are talking about the alleged violation of state information, because the emails to which he had access were from the account of Valter Lavitola, who (according to him) gave him the password and access to the account.

"No one has gone to his email inbox. I had never violated the correspondence of a head of state or of any other person," the Italian said.

Valter Lavitola who was sentenced to three years in prison for alleged embezzlement in an Italian newspaper, is also noted in a process of international corruption against the Italian conglomerate Finmeccaninca, for the alleged payment of bribes to Panamanian officials.

"If the Panamanian justice is what I am seeing, for my life I would never step foot in Panama, there is no guarantee of anything, because they are taking me through a process without my consent," said Mauro Velocci, who thinks the process is not being managed as it should. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: So, supposedly Lavitola gave Velocci the password to this email account, then Velocci passed copies of those emails (between Lavitola and Martinelli) to Balbina Herrera, who ran to the press with them. Gotcha.

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Navarro Says The Public Ministry Is Being Used To Pursue Opposition Politicians

Crime & Punishment The opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) today lamented that the Public Ministry is once again being used to politically pursue its members, specifically Balbina Herrera, who today, Tuesday received an injunction prevented her from leaving the country, after having appeared before the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor.

"Once again, the Public Ministry is being used to politically pursue PRD leaders," said the Secretary General of the PRD, Juan Carlos Navarro, who said the action against Herrera was unacceptable.

Navarro said the PRD hopes the injunction against the former presidential candidate of the PRD is not just another government retaliation, for Herrera's actions to disseminate in the news media emails of President Ricardo Martinelli and the businessman Valter Lavitola.

These emails contained information related to the alleged payment of bribes to Panamanian officials in the failed negotiations for the construction of modular prisons.

Meanwhile, the first secretary of the National Executive Committee, Javier Martinez Acha, said "it is absurd that the authorities of the Public Ministry, in this case, are going against the person who filed the complaint (Balbina Herrera) and not against the person committing the offense."

According to Acha, with this the Public Ministry is clearly "allowing themselves" to be used to pursue a PRD leader.

Injunction: The former presidential candidate and leader of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party, Balbina Herrera, received a court order barring her from leaving the country after appearing before the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor.

Herrera invoked Article No. 22 of the Constitution, which states that she should have the assistance of a lawyer for police and judicial matters.

On Tuesday morning Herrera said her lawyers were not notified of the citation she received from the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor.

"I told them I was willing to testify, but that my lawyers should be present," said Herrera to the news media gathered outside of the prosecutor's office.

Herrera took advantage of the presence of the media to send a message to the president, Ricardo Martinelli, on the Finmeccanica case.

"President Ricardo Martinelli, rest assured that the people involved in the Finmeccanica case are in your government," she said.

Herrera, on the other hand, said Martinelli's computer had not been hacked.

She lamented that the current administration of justice in the country is in this condition.

She said this case is a persecution against her.

'Illegality' - Herrera said the citation issued this Tuesday, 20 November 2012 by the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor is totally illegal.

Herrera explained - upon arrival before the Seventh Prosecutor - that this is because no judge can act over the decision of a prosecutor, who had issued a temporary stay in her favor.

Herrera revealed she was summoned to the prosecutor's office at the request of the Eleventh Criminal Court judge, who requested an extension of the case.

She added that the judge's order is illegal because Article No. 5 of Law No. 63 establishes that no judge can intervene in the decision of a prosecutor.

BACKGROUND - The prosecution Seventh Circuit upheld the order of Alexis Ballestero, the judge of the Eleventh Criminal Court, and filed charges and ordered an investigation against Herrera and the Italian businessman Mauro Velocci.

Herrera and Velocci are accused for the disclosure, through Telemetro and TVN Channel 2, of emails containing conversations between President Ricardo Martinelli and the businessman Lavítola Valter, who has been arrested in Italy for allegedly trying to blackmail the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Herrera said she is accused of having violated Panamanian state security because "these documents belong to President Ricardo Martinelli." She added that this was her problem, and she would not involve the Democratic Revolutionary Party. "Any party members who want to accompany me would be appreciated." (Prensa)

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Balbina Herrera - Can't Leave The Country

Crime & PunishmentThe prominent member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Balbina Herrera, received an injunction preventing her from leaving the country, by the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor. Herrera together with the Italian businessman Mauro Velocci are accused of the commission of an offense against the inviolability of secrecy and privacy. Herrera said her lawyers were not notified of the proceedings programmed for today in the offices of the Seventh Circuit Prosecutor, where the prosecutor Jose Osorio notified her of the injunction against her. She said she would continue to denounce irregularities. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Balbina Herrera went on television and divulged the contents of private email correspondence between Ricardo Martinelli and the Italian businessman Valter Lavitola. So, she is being investigated for having violated the privacy of the president's electronic correspondence. She said in those television interviews, and in other interviews after she broke the scandal, that she had received those emails from Mauro Velocci. And strangely enough, in this investigation the contents of those emails are practically immaterial. This is Panama, where the law is selectively applied in response to political machinations, especially at this level.

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Prosecutor Files Formal Charges Against Former Presidential Candidate and PRD Politician

Crime & PunishmentThe Seventh Circuit Prosecutor responded to an order issued by the Eleventh Criminal Court by filing formal charges and opening an official investigation against the prominent politician of the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) political party and former presidential candidate Balbina Herrera and the Italian businessman Mauro Velocci, who are accused of having disclosed emails containing conversations between President Ricardo Martinelli and the Italian Valter Lavitola on the Telemetro and TVN news broadcasts.

Editor's Comment: You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers (members) who have logged in to their accounts can see the full text of this article.

However non-members can only see this short introduction.

If you would like to subscribe, please click on the button below to pay the $20 (cheap) annual subscription fee via PayPal;

This Is Another Test Article: Anonymous users can only see this article - which contains just the headline and the first sentence of the article. Members who have paid the subscription fee and logged in to their user account on this website will see the full text of the article, and my comments. I will be putting up one of these per day between now and 1 December 2012 and the full implementation of the "pay wall."

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Panama's Supreme Court Released The Only Person Arrested In The Diethylene Glycol Poisoning Case

Crime & PunishmentThe full Supreme Court granted an injunction to Angel De La Cruz, owner of the company Medicom, who sold the raw material used by the Social Security Fund (CSS) to prepare syrups that killed more than 300 Panamanians.

Under the signature of Supreme Court magistrate Hernán De Leon, they issued a Habeas Corpus, which requires De La Cruz to report every 15 days to the court handling his case.

Angel De La Cruz was arrested and has remained in the prison in Tinajitas since 17 November 2006.

De La Cruz had already served the minimum sentence if convicted of manslaughter.  

The businessman is accused of supplying the diethylene glycol to the CSS instead of pure glycerin, which was used during the administration of President Martín Torrijos for making expectorants. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Back in 2006 a Chinese company sold diethylene glycol, which is a cheap to produce chemical used as a solvent, packaged as "pure glycerin", which is used in the manufacture of medicines that are fit for human consumption.

"Pure glycerin" is very expensive while diethylene glycol is a relatively cheap industrial product. Both are sweet to the taste, and it's practically impossible to tell one from the other by just looking at them. You have to do some quality assurance and testing, to make sure of what you actually have. That testing was never done.

The falsely labeled products were first sold by the Chinese company to another company in Spain. Then the Spanish company sold them to this guy's company in Panama. Then Medicom sold them to the Social Security Fund of the Panamanian government. The CSS lab then used the barrels of diethylene glycol that had been labeled as "pure glycerin" (in China) to create medicines that were handed out by the pharmacies of their hospitals, mostly to poor Panamanians. At least 300 people died, and hundreds more were seriously injured.

The manager of the Chinese company who was responsible for this was tried, found guilty, and executed.

When diethylene glycol goes through your system, the kidneys try to metabolize the chemicals. Basically, they get burned out from the inside. Many of the Panamanian victims of this massive diethylene glycol poisoning have been on dialysis ever since, because of renal failure.

What has become obvious is that there was ample negligence to go around at all levels. The mislabeled products "should" have been caught in Spain, by the Panamanian company, and by the technicians of the CSS lab. But, they weren't. No one did any testing or quality control, at any level. They all claim to have been "duped" by the person who sold them the products in the first place. The end result is hundreds dead, thousands injured. And today, this guy got released from prison, six years later.

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64 Year Old Man Shot And Killed During Robbery

Crime & PunishmentA 64 year old man was shot to death by bandits who robbed the store owned by his brother-in-law located in Calobre, in the province of Veraguas. It was learned that the criminals managed tie up the owner, but his wife started screaming when their relative arrived with a machete, and they shot him. The criminals managed to escape, and part of the $500 they had stolen was found strewn on the roadway. The National Police activated an operation in search of the attackers. (Critica)

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Panamanian Boxer Vicente "El Loco" Mosquera Arrested For Assaulting Disabled Street Vendor While Drunk

Crime & PunishmentThe Panamanian boxer Vicente "El Loco" Mosquera was arrested by police officers on Calle 12 in Santa Ana, at 3:00 am in the early morning hours today. The first unofficial reports indicated that "El Loco" Mosquera was with another boxer nicknamed "El Indio" when they assaulted a disabled candy seller, because he told them to pick up a piece of trash they had thrown down, because the area was clean. Apparently the boxer "El Loco" Mosquera was disgusted by what the seller told him, and he assaulted him. During the incident "El Loco" fell and hit his cheek. Presumably "El Loco" was intoxicated. Police units arrested the two boxers who were involved in the scandal and took them to the Santo Tomas hospital for treatment. (Critica)

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"Save The Boss" Gang Busted - Entire Family of Six Arrested

Crime & PunishmentAn entire family was arrested after it was detected that they had formed a criminal gang using the modus operandi of "save the boss." Six people, two men and four women, have been arrested and turned over to prosecutors. However, there is a second group committing this same crime. They seek to trick the domestic employees (maids) into giving them money or valuables, in order to save their employer or boss, who supposedly has been kidnapped.

Javier Pinzón and Damaris Rodriguez, of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ), explained the modus operandi of these gangs, who have been operating in Panama for about the past two months, specifically in areas such as Bethania, San Francisco, Balboa, the Costa del Este, and others. Pinzón said there is a second group that left the country, but they have been fully identified. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: The criminals would contact the maid when the family was away, and tell them that they have been kidnapped. Either the maid turns over all of the money and valuables in the house, or their bosses will be killed. They comply, only to find out that it was all a hoax. These people were smart enough to get away with it for awhile, and dumb enough to get caught.

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One Chinese Businessman Stabbed Another To Death Over A Debt

Crime & PunishmentThe Chinese merchant Yon Fa Fu, 33, was murdered by another Chinese citizen in the "Mary" convenience store located in Vista Alegre of Arraiján. The suspect stabbed the victim in the neck six times, and wounded the victim's 21 year old wife Cecilia Duo. The murderer was caught in a convenience store in Pueblo Nuevo in Panama City. He is a cousin of Cecilia and apparently he was upset because Yon owed him a large sum of money from the sale of a store and a car. (Critica)

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Entire Colombian Family Arrested - Jewel Thieves

Crime & PunishmentThousands of dollars in jewelry was recovered and six Colombians were arrested - among them four women - as the result of a raid conducted by agents of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) of the National Police. According to a statement from the DIJ, the operation took shape at about 2:00 am on Wednesday, November 7 at a local hotel.

They recovered items such as watches, rings, bracelets and necklaces, which were kept hidden in a suitcase. After the operation, an entire family was arrested which consists of six people, aged 25 to 58.

The detainees allegedly called residences in different sectors of the capital such as San Francisco, Paitilla, Costa del Este, Bella Vista and Balboa, saying the maids who worked in the homes had been arrested, and they needed jewelry and money to pay their bonds. It was also learned, what's more, that victims even gave these criminals safes. They entered the country in October. (Prensa)

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Chinese Businessman Stabbed To Death By His Cousin

Crime & PunishmentA Chinese shop owners was killed by his cousin with a knife in the town of Nuevo Arraiján, in the district of Arraiján. The incident occurred last night when family members went to the house to collect some money, and immediately the visitor attacked him with a knife, killing him instantly. The Chinese merchant's wife was also injured and has been admitted to a hospital in the capital. The Public Ministry is conducting the investigations of this new crime in the Western part of the province of Panama. In addition the National Police are trying to capture the alleged murderer. (Dia a Dia)
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"Negro Black" Shot To Death - In Prison

Crime & PunishmentDonato Salazar, alias "Negro Black", 26, who was an inmate at the Nueva Esperanza prison in Colon, was assassinated. Salazar was hit with two bullets in the head and chest. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Shot in prison? Yup. The inmates in a Panamanian prison can have anything smuggled in to them, including firearms. There are no effective controls on the smuggling of contraband, which is taken into the inmates by the prison guards, police officers, and their defense lawyers. For a fee (bribe) you can get anything. Apparently someone wanted to get rid of this "Negro Black" character, so he was assassinated in prison.

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PRD Politician Accused Of Masterminding Journalist's Murder

Crime & PunishmentA member of the PRD political party is now linked to the murder of the former Governor of Cocle, Darío Fernández. The Prosecutor's Office of Cocle issued an arrest warrant against the subject, who ran for elected office in the elections of 2009, a judicial source revealed. The prosecution asked the Electoral Court to lift his immunity, to be investigated as the mastermind of the murder. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: Really? If the prosecutor in Coclé had to ask the Electoral Tribunal to "lift the immunity" of the person, who is not named in this article, then that probably means he won the election, and is currently a sitting elected official. Wow. Darío Fernández is a journalist who was murdered because he was talking about corruption and graft regarding land titling in the area. Apparently the "mastermind" allegedly paid others to kill him (hit).

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Woman Found Dead in Don Bosco

Crime & PunishmentThe body of a woman of about 25 years, fair complexion and small stature was found in Calle 2 of Don Bosco, in the district of Panama. Area residents found the body at 4:00 am, covered with a white sheet and a blue sweater on the face. The deceased had no documents, so her identity is unknown. The National Police responded to the scene as well as the Public Ministry. They immediately began an operation in the sector of Don Bosco. (Dia a Dia)

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Contraband Found During Search Of Women's Prison

Crime & PunishmentNational Police units along with custodial staff of the National Prison System performed a search of the ten buildings that make up the Women's Rehabilitation Center, located on Avenida La Pulida. During the search authorities found and seized knives and other prohibited items. The authorities claimed the prisoners were calm during this search, which is being done internally in the prison, and is part of the regular process. (Critica)

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Woman Shot - Caught In The Middle Of A Gunfight

Crime & PunishmentA 45 year old woman was shot this morning after she was caught in the middle of a shootout in the area of ​​El Martillo, in the district of San Miguelito. She was taken to the San Miguel Arcángel hospital, seriously injured. Due to her critical condition she will be transferred to another hospital. (Dia a Dia)
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Woman Who Escaped From Prison During Riots Last Friday Recaptured - 10 Still At Large

Crime & PunishmentDIP units of the National Police recaptured a 37 year old woman who escaped from the Women's Prison last Friday, where there were several riots and uprisings. The woman was arrested at her house in Los Guayacanes of La Chorrera. Apparently neighbors sounded the alarm and notified police. During the riot in the prison more than 50 detainees escaped. However the authorities acted immediately, detaining several. Police reports indicate that more than 10 women are still at large. (TVN)

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20 Year Old Assassinated In La Chorrera

Crime & PunishmentA 20 year old man was assassinated - shot 13 times - all inflicted on the face, on Saturday night in El Pantanal, in the neighborhood of Revolución, in La Chorrera. Adán Josué Clark came to the site in the company of three men, who took him into a dark and lonely place, near a creek. Residents there said they heard the gunshots and then saw the subjects fleeing in a green car. The National Police reported that Clark lived in El Chumical in Arraiján. (Critica)

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Young Man Who Was Beaten By DIJ Detectives (Caught On Video) Resurfaces

Crime & PunishmentA young man who was beaten by police officers during clashes in Colon has reappeared, after being held for several days. This man was shown through an amateur video, during which he was repeatedly kicked in the face by undercover units. At that time, he received kicks to the face and body, along with another young man accompanying him. Apparently he was held for five days in a police station, he said he missed a day of work, and he said those who beat him were from the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ). "I never showed a lack of respect for the police officers, they accused me of robbery and took me away," he said. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: TVN posted a video of their interview with this young man. Today, five days after he was repeatedly kicked in the face by the DIJ detective, you can still see how the right side of his face is clearly swollen.

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Police Officer Caught On Video Abusing Handcuffed Suspect Suspended

Crime & PunishmentPanama's Human Rights Ombudsman has asked the Attorney General Jose Ayu Prado and the Director of the National Police Julio Molto to fully investigate what really happened in the video that shows a civilian who be being assaulted while handcuffed. Eduardo Lopez, the Secretary General of the Ombudsman's office, said the institution repudiates the violence that has occurred in the province of Colon. "The main motto of the security institution in Panama is to 'Protect and Serve', the least that should be expected is that the police act professionally and not with violence," Lopez said.

Lopez also said they are waiting for them to be invited to participate in the dialog, because the because the institution functions as a negotiating body.

POLICE SUSPENDED - Given the questions of civil groups, the National Police announced that the officer involved in the video was suspended from office, to determine what kind of foul was committed, while the Directorate of Judicial Responsibility investigates the incident.



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Woman Stabbed To Death During "Black Christ of Portobelo" Celebrations

Crime & PunishmentThe people there were astonished. Next to the main road, where hundreds of parishioners passed to pay their respects to the Black Christ of Portobelo, a woman was violently murdered. The devotees were surprised when the truck from the Public Ministry came to recover the corpse of a woman from Costa Rica, who a few days earlier had come to Panama to sell trinkets during the religious festival of the Atlantic.

Although the Public Ministry did not give details of the murdered woman, she had been stabbed seven times in different parts of her body.

That's the 43rd murder victim so far in 2012 in the province Colon.

The murderers mocked the monitoring of the more than 600 officers from the various security agencies that had been deployed to the area to protect the population during these days.

There are versions that say the victim had a fight with her partner on Saturday, but the authorities have not ruled out the possibilities that others might be involved in the murder.

Investigations remain open and are expected to shed some clues, considering that the place is small and there should be some trace at the crime scene.

Meanwhile, the devotees, with respect for the situation which occurred, continued their journey to the altar of the Black Christ to give thanks for the favors received. (Critica)

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$7 Million Dollars Apparently Missing From Financial Pacific Inc. in Panama

Crime & PunishmentA difference of seven million dollars between the amounts recorded and the reality of the bank accounts of the brokerage firm Financial Pacific, Inc. was one of the causes that led to its reorganization. The reorganization was ordered on 16 October by the Superintendency of Securities, which appointed the attorney Maruquel Gisela Pabon de Ramirez to conduct the proceedings.

According to the resolution from the Superintendency that ordered the reorganization, on 10 October 2012 the regulator received from Roberto Brenes and Ivan Diaz, the GMs of the Panama Stock Exchange and the Central Latinoamericana de Valores, respectively, a communication that alerted them of a possible irregularity.

The letter states that a routine inspection by both equities revealed that "the cash balance recorded [of Financial Pacific, Inc.] in the accounts of its customers does not match the investment bank balances these accounts should have by the amount of approximately seven million dollars."

It was learned the reorganization team seeks to complete an analysis of the Financial Pacific situation within the 30-day period granted by the resolution, in order to determine the actions to be taken.

La Prensa also obtained information that the managers of the brokerage firm have filed a criminal complaint against one of their employees for unauthorized transactions. (Prensa)

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Police Round Up Gang Bangers in Samaria

Crime & PunishmentThirteen suspected gang members were arrested in the early hours of today in San Miguelito, in an operation carried out by the Judicial Investigation Department, together with units of the National Police and the Public Ministry. The operation took place in Samaria and Cerro Cocobolo, where there have been killings allegedly carried out by criminal groups. The authorities were acting on the respective arrest warrants. In total there were 35 arrest warrants, of which eight suspects had already been captured in recent days, according to the National Police. Also the police officers captured a subject who was wanted for the carnal crime of rape. (Mi Diario)

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38 Year Old Man Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison For Raping 13 Year Old

Crime & PunishmentAníbal Yangüez González, 38, will serve eighty months in prison (six years, eight months) after a conviction handed down by the Tenth Criminal Court of the Judicial Circuit of Panama, for the crime of the carnal rape of a 13 year old. The convict was arrested by units of the Capture Division of the Judicial Investigation Department (DIJ) when he was on the grounds of his house in the area known as Altos de San Francisco in the district of La Chorrera. The man who worked in a laundry in the area, was taken to the headquarters of the Judicial Investigation Department to be transferred to prison. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: In Panama statutory rape is considered to be "aggravated" when the victim is less than 14 years old. The sentences range from five to ten years in prison. Under the Panamanian criminal code, the judge and prosecutors can reduce the sentence by one third if the accused cooperates with the investigation, pleads guilty, and basically does not offer any resistance to the prosecution and investigation. This is common in drug cases when they are caught red handed - like in the case of Sandra Mallon who was busted at the Tocumen International Airport with cocaine taped to her body. Those convicted of international drug trafficking are commonly given ten years in prison (120 months) and then that's reduced by one-third to 80 months because they have pleaded guilty, and not offered any legal resistance. So this guy might have been given the full 120 months, and then had that sentenced reduced. It's possible, and I don't know the details of what happened in court.

However in the case of "Luiggi" Donahoue, who was recently arrested and charged in a similar case, accused of the statutory rape of a girl who was under 14 years of age at the time of the assault - he has reportedly taken advantage of the protections offered by Article 25 of the Panamanian constitution - meaning that he cannot be compelled to give a statement that might be self incriminating - as is his right. Someone has also shut down his Facebook page, where he was "Friends" with about 25 girls aged 12 and 13 from the Las Esclavas school, who played on the flag football team he coached. So apparently Donahoue has decided not to go down the road of cooperation, which means if convicted he will not be eligible for the one-third reduction in sentence.

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"Fulo" Gunned Down in Samaria

Crime & PunishmentThe life of Leonel Matías Urriola Barría, 18, came to an end Sunday afternoon, after being shot multiple times. The incident occurred at 4:45 pm, in the area known N° 4 of the village of Samaria, Belisario Porras, in the district of San Miguelito.

THE FACTS - Local residents said "Fulo" as he was known, was walking alone when he was intercepted. Apparently "Fulo" was looking for someone when he was killed. The young man who lived in Samaria died instantly after being hit. Leonel's body lay on a stone street surrounded by onlookers and relatives of the victim who were dismayed. Minutes later, the place was cordoned off by the Public Ministry, who at press time (10:00 pm) had not yet completed the removal of the body. The police have not managed to find the murderers of Leonel Matías Urriola Barría. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: The streets of Panama are dangerous places for young men, especially in some of the poorer neighborhoods, especially at night. Statistically speaking, more murders are committed on Sundays in Panama than any other day.

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