Isthmian Update July 30

Isthmian Update July 30: Internet violation

Isthmian Update July 30. The legislative Bill to regulate content on internet portals and social networks, “flagrantly violates precepts embodied in the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States, as it involves prior censorship, interference or direct or indirect pressure on Internet content.” This was the criticism made by the National Journalism Council and the Forum of Journalists for Freedom of Expression and Information in a statement.

Fight against drugs

The government of President Juan Carlos Varela announced the creation of another entity linked to the security forces of the country. This is the Anti-Narcotics Task Force (FEAN) an organization that, according to the Ministry of State Communications, is responsible for fighting drug trafficking. The announcement was made by President Varela during a Security Council meeting at the headquarters of the National Air and Naval Service in Cocolí.

LNG tanker in the Canal

The Maran Gas tanker “Apollonia” became the first tanker loaded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) to cross the Panama Canal. The ship did it through the third set of locks as the dimensions of these vessels do not allow them to pass through the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun locks. The Maran Gas tanker “Apollonia” belongs to the Shell International Trading & Shipping Company, and measures 289 meters long, 45 meters wide and carries 166,000 cubic meters of natural gas.

Slow economy

Panama’s economy grew 4.2% in the first five months of 2016, concludes the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE) published by the Comptroller’s Office. According to the report, the activities with positive results during January to May 2016 were mining and quarrying, construction, transport, storage, communications, electricity and water, public administration and hotels and restaurants. The other sectors, it says, had a favorable impact, but at a slower pace, with the exception of fisheries and community activities that showed decreases.

Dire outlook

The projection of poor economic growth in Panama by the authorities, is threatening the State’s capacity to develop investments in public and social works for the country. So say some economists, who reacted against the increase in the General State Budget for 2017, announced by President Juan Carlos Varela, alleging that the Panamanian economy will grow by 6% next year.


The international scandal of alleged bribes and payments involving the construction giant Odebrecht, could reach former president Ricardo Martinelli. Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of this company, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison, promised to reveal all who participated in the international network of corruption. The information was released by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, which states that Martinelli is one of the people who have been named by the senior manager.

Land reduction

The Camino de Cruces (NCCP) National Park will have a new land reduction. Now 185 hectares of forested areas of Clayton and other areas adjacent to the park will be utilized for “sporting, cultural and social interest”. An administrative decision, dated July 5, and signed by the Minister of Environment, Mirei Endara, redefines the boundaries of the park. The resolution was passed and published in the Official Gazette, based on Article 12 of Law 20 of 2003.

More revenues

Cable & Wireless Panama, S.A. (CWP) announced that it had revenues of $649.1 million for the fiscal year 2015-2016, which ended in March, with an increase of 2%. “We achieved a successful performance in mobile telephony, where we continue to maintain our strong leadership position in a highly competitive market with a 51% share and revenue of $350.8 million,” said Julio Spiegel, executive chairman and CEO of CWP, in a statement.

Youth employment

In Panama there are about 200,000 young people who neither study nor work, and they are called “ninis”. Now there is a bill that promotes youth employment and seeks to reduce that number. In recent days, the deputy, Ivan Picota, presented before the full National Assembly the initiative, where he said that 54% of those 200,000 young people are in prison, while two-thirds of arrests carried out by the National Police Force are “ninis”.

Super 99 celebrates 30 years

The Super 99 chain celebrated its 30 years of operations with mariachis, street musicians, cake and gifts for customers. The small store acquired in 1986 has already grown to 45 supermarkets, employing 7,000 people. In an emotionally charged moment, Mario Martinelli and Gloria Martinelli Berrocal shared the day with employees and customers. The former president, Ricardo Martinelli, joined the celebration through a video conference and even sang with the mariachis.

Antiterrorism conference

Panama will host the Regional Conference on the Global Initiative on Nuclear Terrorism. The Conference is to be held in Panama in the second week of November 2016 at the Bolivar Hall of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Representatives of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences of the Foreign Ministry are organizing the event.

The 1989 invasion

Panama has set up a committee that will work for two years to find the “truth about what happened during the US invasion in 1989, to put a face to the victims and put together a piece of history that still does not appear in the books”. The commission has as its goals, to determine the identity and number of victims, recommend proposals for redress with the support of experts in international law and initiate studies for a possible curricular proposal on the events of December 20, 1989,” said the Vice President and Foreign Minister, Isabel De Saint Malo.

New sewers

The CAF – Development Bank of Latin America – approved a credit of $95 million for Panama for a wastewater project in Burunga and Arraijan. The loan will be invested in the construction, operation and maintenance of integrated collectors, sewage networks and pumping stations for a wastewater treatment system.

Sex tourism

The scandal generated after the possible existence of sex tourism, where an apartment located on the 15th floor of the building in Bella Vista, known as Crystal PH, was used, could be linked to a case of influence peddling. “We are confident that there is a godfather,” said Cristina McGraft, a resident of the building, who said that he is a deputy legislator of the Panameñista Party.

Greener way to pay

Taxpayers can make payments through banks affiliated to Key Payment and more than 1,900 automated teller machines (ATMs) nationwide, because of the agreement between the company Telered and the Panama City Municipality. This measure seeks to minimize paperwork as well as modernize the payment system, according to Jose I. Blandón, Mayor of Panama City


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