Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Print More

The report of the official Martinelli-appointed government commission that investigated the massacre in Bocas del Toro is now available, here. Of course Martinelli and his ministers denied any responsibility for killing children, maiming hundreds and causing permanent blindness by shooting protesters in the eye.

It's the fifth of November, 2010. What better than to quote these memorable words:

"Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration - whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday - I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

Cruelty and injustice...intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told...if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor Adam Sutler. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words - they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek...then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament. And together, we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever, be forgot!"

15 thoughts on “Remember, remember, the fifth of November

  1. @Okke:
    I fail to understand the parallel between the Bocas de Toro events of 2010 and the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in London.

  2. I took it as if these words were spoken today, right here, they would sound very true. We know “there is something terribly wrong with this country” yet very few people have the courage to stand up and do something about it. The few that did in Bocas have been labeled as manipulated, ignorant drunks (dont go further than the Panama guide for such labels). A few died, many were maimed and the populace at large stayed mostly silent. Many parallels

  3. With his paranoia about coups and attacks, I think Martinelli fears a Panamanian gunpowder plot.

    The speech, of course, comes from the movie “V for Vendetta”, which depicts an Orwellian situation in England’s future very similar to present day Panama. So, will Panama have its gunpowder plot? Who knows!

  4. When you talk with and to most Panamanians, they almost start to laugh at how most Gringo’s and Expat’s think that Martinelli and the rest of this Militarized Henchmen are turning Panama into some sort of Paradise with less corruption, less money Laundering, turning the tide against the Narco traffickers, and improving the National Police?

    It is a shame that the Gringo’s and Expat’s are so blind that they only see what they are told and actually believe all this BS hype from Martinelli and the Militarist Propagandist within this Government?

    This is just one big Dog and Pony show period, given at the expense of the underprivileged and poor of Panama.

    They sure are a lot of Gringo’s and Expat’s here, who think by supporting the corruption and all the lies about the Real way of life in Panama they will be rewarded with a place at Pig trough of Corruption!

    Don the Wanker and the Failed editor of Pro Panamanian newsroom are just cheaply bought whores for the pennies which have been dropped in to the urinals by the so called Panamanian elite as they flush their BS and Piss in the Bay of Panama without a second thought!?

    What is so Funny these Gringo’s and Expat’s actually truly believe this BS Propaganda when common sense should prevail?

    “Panama where the Number add up”

  5. @Okke: A far-fetched analogy indeed.
    For a moment I thought you were comparing the victims of the 2010 Bocas del Toro riots with the martyrdom of the seven catholics plotters led by Guy Fawkes who failed to blow up the British Parliament in 1605 and consequently were executed in the most vile manner in January of 1606…

  6. I think that any plots against the government will come from Panamas recently
    formed de facto military. Not even Noriega nor Torrijos allowed their police or army to be above the law. Psychologically it is a terrible precedent to set. These goons will be empowered as never before. When they are given limits or are subject to any of Martinelli’s now famous whims they may just decide that they really don’ t need anymore civilian oversight and just decide to take over. As long as they stay right wing and keep business as usual Uncle Sam will be happy. Who then will object?
    Martinelli’s biggest mistake so far has been to supercharge the goons sense of empowerment and lack of consequences for their criminal actions.

  7. Not even JK Rowling can write a work of fiction like the government report on the Bocas fiasco. Although I wasn’t there I know it’s fiction when I read the comments by government officials and compare them to the results. so that is that. Another crime perpetrated by the government for its own purposes; those guilty of abusing their power are allowed to feel good again because this investigation told them they did their job correctly; and the rest of the people are left disempowered as always.
    By the way, there’s an entry in which it is claimed that because the police were facing up to 3000 people and couldn’t arrest them all, they would start firing at them with pellets. Couldn’t they have used water canons instead of actually shooting at people? Have you ever been shot with a lead pellet?
    How many of those cops do you think had hard-ons when they were shooting pretending they were using real bullets?

  8. I think this was an impossible situation – under orders, they did what they did. They are still listening to their orders, and thank god for that, because i am not sure a military dictatorship is better – i will take the civilian dictatorship over the alternative. The fault lays suqarely in the hands of the people who gave the orders and ultimately the “commander in chief”, the president. Some of these officers were in a very difficult situation, especially those FROM Bocas who were pitted against their own neighbors. They were sent in a quick sand situation by people who had no clue of what was going on because first they never set foot in the backwaters that is Bocas del Toro, and second, they NEVER expected a “few ignorant drunk” indians to take over the way they did,
    To use a water cannon, you would have to be given a water cannon to use and the order to use it. I am not saying there are not a few nut jobs in the police force, there ALWAYS are anywhere, but to think most of them were getting hard-ons to maim their fellow panamanians i think is absurd.

  9. I think you need a certain mentality to be a cop, and they often say that cops and thieves have the same mentality – ergo a cop understand a thief best. But there also so many cases of courageous police force, risking their lives, for us, and for very little pay – these people exist as well. And I still contend that the “leaders” are at total fault for what happened in Bocas – The cops were as exploited as the rest of them. There are sadist everywhere unfortunately, and not only in the police force. I dont debate there are. But I dont think they make up the biggest chunk of the force. And their work is to follow orders. Until they sent the troups from PC and elsewhere, while the police was only the local police, not one of them got out of hand or hurt anyone and none of them were hurt.
    I dont hang out in the “underworld” so maybe my experience is tainted (or not tainted as the case may be).

    VOLUMEN IV RESUMEN EJECUTIVO I can’t decide whether I’m depressed that this is what passes for justice in Panama or angry that this is the beginning of four more long years of pain. No independent investigation, poker-faced lies, and a bunch of people dead and the families they left behind for whom this investigation is totally meaningless.
    Imagine how different the investigation and report would have been if the cops had attacked a bunch of renegade Union Club members who refused to leave the club car park instead until they finished drinking their Grey Goose.

  11. What is so courageous about the Police here in Panama?

    Have you ever seen or heard of any of these officers actually saving any one’s life in the line of Duty?

    I am not talking about the police supposedly saving or covering up for each other?

    They are only taught to harass, how to walk around to make themselves look important, use Cellulars on duty for personal use, break in doors without search warrants in the poor neighborhoods, never fully investigate crimes or follow up on crimes unless some one in the force can capitalize or receive monies or other form political gratuity, and of course be interviewed on Television?

    The majority that deal with the Public here in Panama are not trained as Policemen?

    They are not trained to render any form of aid(Accident or injury) or help during natural disasters as officers in other countries do?

    They do on occasion take injured individuals to the Hospital, this is a very commendable act on these Officers part?

    The Militarization of Panama has been speeding up since this new government took power?

    When the Jefe of the National Police wears a polo shirt and jeans to review his troop(Policemen) during a National Patriotic Independence Day Parade, this shows Great disrespect for the Uniform and the Police who wear them under his despotic tyrannic ascendancy?

  12. Dr Dias, with all due respect, we need to disable your question mark key :o) I am always confused if you are asking or saying.

  13. And you ask for an example. Well during the floods of nov. 2008 I personally saw quite a few police force members risking their lives to get some people out of the mess they were in, car rolled etc. Also, they worked day and night to help secure the road, while we had some torrential rain., What they did was nearly miraculous in a couple of weeks, again, under very very dangerous situation. Not everything is dark and obscure all the time. Some of these people DO their work. And it was no skin off their nose if Bocas was cut off from the rest of the world, but they kept at it, with many others, but they were there under less than ideal conditions believe me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.