Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Friday, July 25 2014 @ 01:39 PM EDT

View Printable Version

PARLACEN Deputies Might Challenge Martinelli's Swearing-In

Panama NewsThe Central American Parliament Deputy Dorindo Cortez said Tuesday on RPC Radio they might nullify the inauguration of former President Ricardo Martinelli. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

2 Colombian guerrillas die in shootout with Panamanian police

Panama NewsTwo suspected Colombian guerrillas were killed and two others were wounded in a shootout with Panama's Senafront border security force, authorities reported Thursday.

Several gunbattles occurred last weekend between police and a group of armed irregulars in three different locations in a town located 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from the mouth of the Pito River, in the Guna Yala district, very close to the Colombian border, said Senafront in a communique.

During the police action, which concluded on Wednesday, authorities arrested six Colombians, including the two wounded men, seizing from them two assault rifles, a shotgun, two .38 revolvers and ammunition of various calibers.

Senafront provided no further details about either the dead rebels or the captured ones.

It also reported that authorities had seized 400 kilos of cocaine, arrested 14 Panamanian citizens and seized four pistols during another operation conducted in the community of Clarita, in Chepo district east of the capital.

The arrested people and the drugs were turned over to prosecutors. (EFE)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Ex-Panama dictator suing Activision over likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Panama NewsBy Wesley Yin-Poole - Earlier this month we had Mean Girls and Freaky Friday star Lindsay Lohan suing Rockstar over allegedly using her likeness in Grand Theft Auto 5. Now, we have an ex-dictator suing Activision over allegedly using his likeness in Call of Duty.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is suing Activision over the use of his likeness in Treyarch's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

In the game Alex Mason and Frank Woods track Noriega, codenamed False Profit by the CIA, to the outskirts of Panama City. You can see the scene in which they find him in the video, below, taken from the level Suffer With Me.

Now, 80-year-old Noriega, who lives in Panama, is suing Activision for the "blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain" of his image in Black Ops 2, which came out in 2012.

In the lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and reported on by the Courthouse News Service, Noriega's lawyers claim: "In an effort to increase the popularity and revenue generated by Black Ops 2, defendants used, without authorisation or consent, the image and likeness of plaintiff in Black Ops 2.

The real life Manuel Noriega, taken in 1990.

"Defendants' use of plaintiff's image and likeness caused damage to plaintiff. Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorised to use plaintiff's image and likeness. This caused plaintiffs to receive profits they would not have otherwise received."

Noriega said Black Ops 2 portrays him "as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state", before referencing the scene depicted in the video, below.

This is all an attempt to "heighten realism in its video game", Noriega said. "This translates directly into heightened sales for defendants.

"Defendants deliberately and systematically misappropriated plaintiff's likeness to increase revenues and royalties, at the expense of plaintiff and without the consent of plaintiff."

Noriega wants damages for unjust enrichment, unfair business practices and violation of common-law publicity rights, as well as lost profits.

Noriega was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, but was removed from power after the 1989 invasion by the US. He was tried and sent to prison in April 1992. After his sentence ended in 2007, France was granted its extradition request. Noriega again went to trial and again sent to jail. A conditional release was granted in 2011 for Noriega to be extradited to serve 20 years in Panama.

Black Ops 2's single-player campaign includes two connected storylines, the first of which is set from 1986 to 1989 during the final years of the first Cold War. It chronicles the rise of antagonist Raul Menendez, who fakes his demise with the help of Noriega.

Activision is yet to file its response.

Editor's Comment: Wow. Talk about looking to get paid from prison... Now maybe the family members of the (dead, shot in the face) Osama bin Laden will sue dozens of video game producers, for using his likeness without his permission. Third world tyrants around the globe are - right now - looking for the name and email address of these LA lawyers.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama Normalizes Diplomatic Relations With Venezuela

Panama NewsPanama's Minister of Foreign Affairs Isabel Saint Malo announced through a press release yesterday, that diplomatic relations with Venezuela have returned to normal. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

List Of New Panamanian Members to Central American Parliament Revealed

Panama NewsThe ruling Panameñista party obtained the most Deputies to the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) following the recent national elections in Panama. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama judge acquits N. Korean crew over arms row

Panama NewsA Panamanian judge acquitted and ordered the immediate release Friday of three North Koreans detained last year for trying to transport undeclared Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal.

The North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang was stopped last July and discovered to be carrying 25 containers of Cuban military hardware, including two Soviet-era MiG-21 aircraft, air defense systems, missiles and command and control vehicles.

The ship's 35 crewmembers were arrested and the vessel and cargo seized for potential violations of a UN weapons embargo and as a threat to the canal's security.

Panama initially released all crewmembers except three senior officers charged with arms trafficking.

On Friday, Judge Carlos Villarrea finally acquitted and freed that last group, named as Ri Yong Il, Hong Yong Hyon and Kim Yong Gol. He also acquitted the other 32 crewmembers.

Villarreal's decision was based on the fact that the incident "was of international character and outside Panamanian jurisdiction," a court statement said.

Panama only had the right to convene the United Nations Security Council to allow the body to issue its own ruling on the weapons cache found, the judge said.

Additionally, the crewmembers could not be held responsible because "they were executing and obeying direct orders from the state of North Korea," he said.

Villarreal ordered the return of the more than 200,000 sacks of sugar that had been used to conceal the undeclared weapons cargo, but did not release the confiscated arms, saying the rightful owner had yet to be proven.

"The law was applied and this judge will be remembered for being brave and daring to liberate North Koreans despite internal and external pressures against the accused," the sailors' lawyer Julio Berrios told AFP.

"If all goes well, they will be leaving the country at the end of next week via Havana, Moscow and Beijing."

Both Havana and Pyongyang said the weapons were obsolete Cuban arms being shipped to North Korea for refurbishment under a legitimate contract and due to be returned to Cuba.

But neither country explained why the shipment was hidden if it was indeed legitimate.

Panama asked the United Nations to send a mission to determine if the attempted shipment violated a UN embargo on arms deliveries to North Korea.

Panama authorities said in April that a UN team's report confirms that the cargo violated the embargo. (AFP)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Magda Maxwell Jumps Ship - Will Also Work For Varela

Panama NewsThe new administration of president-elect Juan Carlos Varela is sweeping up all of TVN's journalists. Now we learn the newscaster Magda Maxwell is also leaving in order to join the Varela team. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama lawyer says prosecution of N. Korea arms ship crew illegal

Panama NewsBy Yonho Kim and Jee Abbey Lee (VOA) A Panamanian lawyer representing detained crew members of the North Korean cargo vessel Chong Chon Gang says his clients are being held responsible twice for one crime, a move he calls illegal.

Julio Berrios said in an e-mail to the VOA Korean service that the criminal indictment, which followed a $1 million fine for the captain and two other sailors, is double jeopardy, which prohibits a defendant from being tried again on the same or similar charges.

“If the national law is strictly applied, the sailors should be acquitted,” Berrios argued.

Berrios also maintains the three crew members did not violate United Nations Security Council resolutions because they only apply to governments and not individuals.

He added that the North Koreans should be exempt from criminal prosecution because they were merely following orders from Pyongyang.

The prosecutor of the case, Robert Moreno, has rejected that defense. Earlier this month, he told VOA it was not a valid defense because the orders from Pyongyang were not lawful.

Moreno added that Panamanian prosecutors found e-mails from North Korean authorities to the captain, in which he was told not to declare the content of his cargo, proving that he was aware his shipment was illegal.

Authorities in Panama seized the Chong Chon Gang last July after reports circulated that the North Korean-flagged ship was transporting illegal drugs. Instead, the vessel was found to be carrying weapons in violation of international sanctions against North Korea.

Thirty-two of the ship’s crew members were released in February after North Korea paid $690,000 in fines; however, the ship’s captain and two others were charged for trafficking illegal weapons.

When asked about the sailors’ health, Berrios said they are doing well. “The guards [at La Hoya Penitentiary] are treating the Chong Chon Gang officers with respect,” the attorney added.

Berrios himself visits his clients at least twice a week.

A ruling on the case is expected later this month.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Martinelli Denies Any Involvement In Hurtado Case

Panama NewsAfter a group of people who were "persecuted" by Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the former director of the Colombian DAS (intelligence agency), announced on Friday in a press conference in Panama they were aware President Ricardo Martinelli is protecting the former Colombian official at one of this properties, the Panamanian leader was swift to respond to the accusations through the social networks. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

President-Elect Varela Picks Career Officer To Be The New Chief of Police

Panama NewsWhen announcing his decision to select a career police officer to be the new Director of the National Police in Panama, president-elect Juan Carlos Varela said he did not want to politicize the office. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user 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 this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks