Letter from the editor – In memoriam

"The Enemy Within" and "Panama Now"

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Dear reader,

With a heavy heart, it is my unfortunate duty to report the passing of our Editor-in-Chief, Ken Jones, founder of Focus Publishing Group.

Words are our job, and yet there are no words to express the deep sorrow we at Focus feel at the loss of our director. For me, he was much more than a boss. He was truly my greatest mentor. By allowing me the opportunity to work alongside him, to learn as much as I could in our short time together, he changed the course of my life and deepened the quality and very nature of my writing. His blessing was the key that opened the entire country to me. Most of all, and more than any other person in my life, he believed in me.

"The Enemy Within" and "Panama Now"

“The Enemy Within” was published in 1990.
“Panama Now” was a series of books that documented the history of the country.

About two years ago, Ken took me on as a rank amateur to compile events for the late Jacob Ehrler. Before long, I found myself in the driver’s seat of The Visitor and our logistics newspaper, The Bulletin, and, via Ken, enjoying tutelage of the highest caliber. It has not always been easy, but seldom has anything been as gratifying.

The day before Ken’s passing was a big day for me personally when Melitón Arrocha, Minister of Commerce and Industries, noted The Visitor’s unwavering support of the country’s artisans on stage at the National Handicraft Fair.

Tragically, I was unable to share the news with Ken the following day, and to celebrate our latest covers, some of our best work to date. His death was so sudden and unexpected. And yet, we carry on, just as Ken would have desired.

The full scope and impact of his lifelong efforts, here in Focus and throughout Panama and beyond, will continue to be felt in ways we cannot yet fathom.

Kenneth was a masterful writer, a fair and just employer who benefitted hundreds and an outstanding, if modest, man. Working next to him has been nothing short of a privilege. As we continue to adjust to his absence, my sincere hope is that we show ourselves worthy to carry forth his vision and to share with future generations his deep love for Panama and its people.

Ken, you will be missed.

Charles Conn


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