Isthmian Update June 9: Hub of the Americas
Isthmian Update June 9: In order to publicize the details of the Canal expansion and its global impact, the ambassador of Panama in Egypt, Tomas Guardia, and members of the embassy in that country, organized an audiovisual display in the city of Cairo, showing the magnitude of the construction work. Guardia stated: “we are convinced that with the expansion of the Panama Canal and the development of new activities and maritime logistics services, the country will consolidate itself as the Hub of the Americas in transportation and logistics.”
2400 Americans contracted Mossack Fonseca
The famous U.S. newspaper, The New York Times published on its front page that at least 2,400 American citizens hired the Mossack Fonseca law firm to create offshore companies, through which they evaded taxes in their own country.
Trust for Felix B. Maduro
The Panama National Bank (BNP), whose manager is Rolando De Leon, will act as trustee within the structure established to ensure the continuity of the Felix B. Maduro group, whose operations were affected after the inclusion of its owner, Abdul Waked, in the Clinton List linked to money laundering and drug trafficking activities. On Wednesday, June 1, the US Treasury Department endorsed the transfer to a trust of all assets of Felix B. Maduro, Importadora Maduro and Maduro International.
Earthquake in Chiriqui
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded at about 4:20 p.m., on Sunday in Puerto Armuelles, Baru district, Chiriqui province. The center of the quake was located 14 kilometers north of Puerto Armuelles at a depth of 18.1 km at latitude of 8.42 and -82.87 Lon. The earthquake originated west of the province of Chiriqui, near Laurel de Corredores in the Costa Rican area bordering Panama.
Recent heavy rains caused flooding in various parts of Panama and Colon, but there was a greater damage at Howard where a creek flooded the PanAmerican Highway and caused a huge overflow. There were fallen trees and overflowing rivers, especially the Cabra and Juan Diaz. Six houses were affected by the waters of the Cabobré river in Pacora.
To carry out a number of additional works and modifications to the original Tocumen International Airport Terminal 2 design, the administration will request from the Comptroller’s Office an extra $92.5 million for Odebrecht, the Brazilian company, in charge of the expansion. The company agreed to this figure after several tense meetings, at which they requested $116.3 million more, an increase of 20.5% over the agreed sum.
President Juan Carlos Varela reiterated in the Chamber of Commerce, that the constructor is making a filling test to check whether the structures work in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project. However, he also said that while the government seeks to reach an agreement with indigenous groups opposed to the project, “the reality is that there are foreign investors and international banks financing it, an issue that the government cannot ignore, because it would jeopardize the country’s economy”.
Newspapers in jeopardy
Isthmian Update June 9. The president of GESE, Eduardo Quiros, reiterated that the newspapers El Siglo and La Estrella live in a “compromising position” due to the impact dealt to them by the allegations against its owner, Abdul Waked. “The extension of the special license given by the US Treasury Department is a step forward, but we must seek a definitive solution,” said Quiros on the TVN morning news.
The attack on the Attorney General’s Office website, which occurred over the weekend, originated in Panama said Rolando Rodriguez, secretary general of this institution. Rodriguez explained that the office’s website had its security compromised through cyber means, which were developed furtively.
Isthmian Update June 9. In order to strengthen the laws against corruption, the Executive is working on a draft anti-corruption bill. The Minister of the Presidency, Alvaro Aleman, asked groups and organizations expert in the field to submit their contributions to the project by Thursday, June 30. Aleman said he has held meetings with Transparency and Access National Authority (ANTAI) with a view to identifying the legal aspects to make the new legislation more effective.