Minister Raúl Mulino of government and justice presented a law yesterday before the Ali Baba cave also known as the "National Assembly", to be approved in the extraordinary sessions that are being held this week.
The law purports to stimulate the aviation industry in Panama, but is in reality a potpourri of measures that drives Panama further towards authoritarianism and mafia rule. Panamanians call it a "ley chorizo", "sausage law", and it is expected to pass without incident in the assembly's salami slapping frenzy.
The environmentalists are up in arms, however, about a provision that removes the obligation for construction projects to have an environmental impact study done if the government declares such project of "social interest". Read: more open pit mining, insane airport projects, highway through the Darién.
Some sneaky reforms of the labor code are also hidden in this "aviation" law. Entrepreneurs can now fire whomever goes on strike.
But the jewel in the crown of this new piece of mobster legislation is without a doubt the article that states that members of the police can not be placed in preventive custody nor be suspended in case they have committed a crime. That means that the police can now torture you, steal your money, extort your business, kidnap you and sell you to the FARC without getting in any sort of trouble.
Meanwhile, we are hearing from more and more foreigners and foreign businesses in Panama that they're leaving the country. All the incentives in the world do not make up for lack of legal security, mobster rule, massive corruption and backwardness, we're told. Number one destination is Costa Rica, which must be laughing its ass off about its retarded neighbors.
UPDATE WED 9th EVENING: As predicted, the law passed the first debate. When it passes the third debate, Martinelli can sign it into law. We don't expect any serious problems for the government, this thing will pass without major problems.