The price we pay for our massive corruption here in Panama is visible everywhere, and under Martinelli not much has changed. The schools are still in a horrible state, with many unfit to start the new year. The promised $100 for the 70 y/o is being paid to them with many interruptions. The lines in the public hospitals and clinics haven't gotten any shorter; they're longer than before.
Today La Prensa has a devastating story about the state of affairs at the capital's fire department. There are 14 fire stations which in theory should each have 3 vehicles. In reality, instead of 42, there are only 9 vehicles in all of the greater Panama area.
On top of that, fire fighters get hurt because there is no protective equipment, or it is too old.
In San Miguelito and Clayton, for example, the Fire Department can't do anything. They have no working vehicles, no equipment, and only attend small emergencies.
President Martinelli recently doubled the budget for the Fire Department from $9 million to $19 million. "Good!" you'd think.
In reality it's not so good, but futile. In the same La Prensa, it is revealed that Mr. Martinelli and his gang will spend $22 million this year on propaganda publicity. That's money that goes from the State to the pockets of the rich elite that owns the media in this country - Martinelli himself being one of them.
Los groceros somos más!