According to legislator Rogelio Paredes, during the last two years there have been no less than SIX cases of kids under 14 years old committing serious crimes (yes, that's three per year), so it WAS ABOUT TIME that Martinelli and his gang passed a law that will put an end to childly innocence. With already over two murders and countless robberies a day, we can't have those little punks adding to that amount.
So, civilized as they are in Panama's business-oriented government, they lowered the age limit for children to be prosecuted as if they were adults to 12 years.
So, what's the legal situation now, in crime-land? Bananama Republic sums it up for you:
If you're a twelve year old kid and you steal a loaf of bread from Martinelli's Super99, they will throw you in an overpopulated jail for between 5 to 10 years where you will be raped and starved and trained to become a better criminal when you get out - if you survive, that is.
On the other hand, if you are a legislator and you steal a couple of millions from the Social Investment Fund AND you are aligned with SuperPresident Martinelli, nothing will happen to you, and the worst that theoretically (there are no known cases) could happen is that you go to jail for between 2 and 4 years.
If that isn't justice and civilization we don't know what is!
Next step: Follow the initiative of our neighbor's president Uribe, and turn these little kids into underpaid snitches! As they will no doubt get killed in the process, this saves prison space too.