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Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 08:09 pm EDT

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Two Fined for Fraud (Interamerican Motors)

Law & LawyersTwo managers of the now-closed Interamerican Motors business group were sentenced to 120 days (fines) by the Second Penal Court in Panama City for defrauding a man in Vacamonte nine years ago. The Court of Appeals and Consultations of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama concluded that Antonieta Strah Castrellón and Carlos Eduardo Fonseca Pedreschi, whom in 1997 held the positions of general manager and manager of sales of the company will have to pay the fines. The sentence of 120 days (payable by fines) represents $2,500 each and will have to be paid to the National Treasury within eight months. They are also disqualified from holding public positions during the period. This case goes back to 1997 when Clementina Marín de Nieto, a transportation carrier from Vacamonte, bought a bus from Interamerican with a Korean motor instead of Japanese. The initial complaint was filed in 2001 by 14 carriers against several managers of the business group that was owned by the Ricardo Perez group. But with appeals and other actions only two executives were found guilty.
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Ricardo Garibaldo Will be Tried for Murder

Law & Lawyers Ricardo Garibaldo attended trial yesterday for the disappearance of popular opposition leader Heliodoro Portugal in May of 1970. The retired lieutenant colonel, who was accompanied by other ex-military officers such as Rubén Darío Paredes, pleaded innocent to the charges. The prosecutor asked a jail sentence for Garibaldo, who is the first military leader sent to trial for crimes committed during the years of the military dictatorship. "In March, the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Second Superior Tribunal by ruling that the prosecution of members of the former National Guard in the death of leftist leader Heliodoro Portugal was not barred by the statute of limitations. Heliodoro Portugal disappeared in 1970. In 2000, his family identified his remains by DNA as those found in an unmarked grave on the grounds of a former military base in Panama City. At year's end, the Second Superior Court ordered the detention of Ricardo Garibaldo for his involvement in the disappearance and death of Portugal and the 2002 petition before the IACHR regarding the Portugal case remained pending." http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rsd/rsddocview.html?tbl=RSDCOI&id=4226d99520

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Carlos Jones Taken to Make Statement

Law & LawyersLast weekend an influential lawyer, Carlos Jones, was involved in a fatal accident at 3:00 am which resulted in the death of Nicolasa Vásquez de Díaz y Toribio Díaz. According to Jones he was hit from behind by another vehicle that caused him to lose control, cross the median, and hit the victims. When the accident occurred the police took Jones into custody and took him to the Santo Tomas hospital for a blood alcohol test. Jones basically slipped out the back door, disappeared for 24 hours, and then checked himself in to the Hospital Nacional where he was until this afternoon. There have been all kinds of uproar in the media over this case and pressure is growing on the government. This afternoon Jones finally left the Nacional Hospital, accompanied by this wife, the Second Superior Prosecutor and his children.
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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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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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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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Going Slow Against "Fake Judge" Dulio Arrocha

Law & Lawyers The Supreme Court of Panama decided they will not proceed with two of the three charges pending against the "fake judge" Dulio Arrocha for lack of evidence. Basically, they are saying that first we have to prove that Dulio Arrocha actually obtained his law degree in a fraudulent manner, and once that has been proved, then they will proceed with going after the pay he received and to find him guilty of acting as a lawyer and judge illegally. It's a fine point, but the Supreme Court is basically deciding to take the case one point at a time, and in order. On the surface it seems like they are going easy on Arrocha, but in reality they are just taking their time to do things right. Later, they will go after the money - should he have to pay back all of the money that he made while working as a judge, a position that he obtained by having a fake diploma from Colombia. And then they can go after him for acting as a lawyer and judge illegally. First things first.
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Will Panama Change Retiree Benefits?

Law & LawyersThis morning on one of the deabte shows the panel discussed the fact that the Panamanian National Assembly has before it "Project 17" which would modify the benefits given to retirees and "pensionados" in this country. These benefits are one of the primary reasons why foreign retirees see Panama as an attractive place to retire and live. In reality, the original intent of these benefits were to give a break to Panamanian retirees and the fact that foreigners might enjoy the same benefits came as an afterthought. Now that there is a wave of foriegn retirees coming here, the perception is that these people have money and should be taxed. The interesting part about the debate this morning is that the panel members recognized that there are now 80,000 foreign retirees living in Panama, that to a large extent this influx is responsible for the construciton boom, that 15,000 retirees ran from Costa Rica to Panama after they changed their tax structure to get more money from the retirees. (more)
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Judge orders ex-president extradited TO PANAMA for trial

Law & Lawyers A Panamanian judge has ordered former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Alemán to be arrested on money-laundering charges and extradited to Panama to stand trial, court officials said Thursday. The two Central American countries do not have an extradition treaty, and it remained unclear whether Nicaraguan officials would follow the order. Alemán, who was president from 1997 to 2002, is accused of opening 60 bank accounts in Panama to launder $57 million stolen from Nicaragua's government coffers. Judge Adolfo Mejía also ordered the arrest of Alemán's wife, María Fernanda; his father-in-law, José Antonio Flores; and his former tax chief, Byron Jerez. They are accused of signing off on some of the accounts. In 2003, a Nicaraguan court sentenced Alemán to 20 years' imprisonment for fraud and money laundering. His sentence was reduced to house arrest, and appeals courts dominated by his Constitutionalist Liberal Party eventually freed him conditionally. Alemán also faces a civil trial in Miami over allegations he purchased U.S. bank certificates with money stolen from Nicaragua's government. http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/americas/14615384.htm?source=rss&channel=miamiherald_americas
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Lawsuits over ROP Land in Bocas

Law & Lawyers People are are filing criminal lawsuits against businessmen and investors in Bocas del Toro to block the development of tourist projects in the region. Lawyer Darío Carrillo Gomila said organized groups have filed suits with the intention of removing the recognition of rights of possession and to remove the rightful owners from their lands. According to Carrillo, on 7 January 2006 the National Assembly approved Law 2 which regulated how consessions for the development of state lands for tourist development will be managed. (Editor's Comment: And anyone fill me in on the details of what's going on in Bocas with regards to the fights over ROP land? Who's getting sued? Dkw)

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This Week in the National Assembly --

Law & Lawyers Civil employees of the Civil Registry will replace notary publics to perform civil marriages according to the bill approved yesterday in the second debate in the National Assembly (Editor's Comment: In Panama all new law are required to go through three debates in the National Assembly before they can be approved in a final vote. Once approved in the Assembly, a Presidential signature is required for the bill to become law. DKW) The proposal reorganizes the National Direction of the Civil Registry and was an initiative of the judges of the Electoral Court. Dámaso Solíss, the National Director of the Civil Registry, explained that the proposal arises from complaints and problems that arise when the formalities of the process are not fulfilled, and notaries simply have the couple sign the paperwork. In addition, the bill effects the naming of children. It would allow for the parents to decide which last name (paternal or maternal) appears first on a child's birth certificate, adding an element of flexibility in the traditional system which requires that the paternal last name appears first. (more)
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New Panamanian Credit History System Approved

Law & Lawyers The National Assembly approved yesterday, a new law allowing for the creation of an information service containing the credit history of clients and consumers. This law was being promoted by the Panamanian Association of Credit. The law allows for data to be held for seven years as well as the inclusion of basic information on credit payments and history. Law makers also approved a law related to the dental assistant career. Both new laws required the President's signature.
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The Thomas Bleming Case

Law & Lawyers Thomas Bleming, the American military man who is suing Manuel Antonio Noriega for $21.5 million dollars in compensation for being tortured while held in Panamanian jails, says he does not want the money of the ex-dictator "would not accept it". What wants is honorary citizenship. The Vietnam vet said he was recruited at the end of the 70's by panameñistas with ties to the Cuban exile community in Miami. He said that Arnulfo Aryan knew the plan and that the Central Agency of Intelligence of the United States did not object to his participation in the Front for National Liberation. He said the panameñistas offered him $100,000 to kill Omar Torrijos and Noriega, land in Panama, and a position in the new Panamanian army that was to have been restructured after the fall of the military dictatorship. Bleming married a Panamanian who has family with the Torrijos family, and said he supported to Martín Torrijos in the last election.
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This kinda stuff just ticks me off...

Law & LawyersThe story in a nutshell; Metro Credit S.A., a finance company here in Panama City loaned a poor family $2,500 more than five years ago. The family had to pay for an operation, and the only thing they had as collateral was their small house in San Isidro. They made monthly payments of $214 for more than four years (a total of more than $10,000) until the husband lost his job. Now, the finance company is foreclosing and evicting the family. Metro Credit wants to sell the house for $30,000...
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U.S. Rejects Venezuelan Move on Extradition of Bombing Suspect

Law & LawyersWASHINGTON, May 27 - The Justice Department on Friday rejected Venezuela's request for the arrest of a Cuban exile wanted for an airplane bombing as a preliminary to his extradition, saying it had not provided proper supporting evidence.
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Site about Prisons in Panama, In English

Law & LawyersBeing a foreigner in Panama, and falling in jail is not a nice thing. Chances are you will be thrown in Pavillino 6 of La Joyita prison.
Life there is brutal and medieval. Learn a little about Panama's prisons by visiting www.realpanama.org and pray that you or your loved ones never, ever get to be there as inmates.
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Panama New Real Estate Tax Exemptions and Revised Alternate and present Real Estate Tax Codes

Law & LawyersJuan Ramon Vallarino, thanks for giving us this information. I hope I do not confuse our members more than they already are.

Thanks, charly
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How NOT to Avoid Taxes Offshore and Hide From the Authorities...

Law & LawyersHere's a guy who made millions and tried to avoid paying taxes by hiding some of the money, in part, offshore in Panama. He's in jail now. Don't buy his book when it comes out...
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Pensionado & Jubilado Discounts (Translation of Panamanian Law)

Law & LawyersHere's a translation (followed by the original Spanish text) of the Panamanian law which establishes the discounts and benefits applicable to those who qualify for retired (or pensionado) status.
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Law Library of Congress (GLIN) - Panama

Law & LawyersI'll bet you didn't know about this one. The Law Library of Congress maintains a "Global Legal Information Network" (GLIN) with links to legal resources and all kinds of information about Panamanian law.
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