SINCE the government of our beloved narco-ruler Ricardo Martinelli took office, tourists visiting Panama City have been able to enjoy the spectacular sight of mountains of garbage strewn throughout the capital. More than a year later, the government and municipality STILL haven't been able to figure out what to do about it.
Then they invented another attraction: Closing off the water supply. For over a month the city has been without potable water, and even though they're now supplying water again it is not safe to drink it. Of course, no Plan B was in place.
Today, La Prensa reports that in the interior of the country they have taken these tourism policies yet one step further: Vacationing foreigners massively abandoned hotels and resorts near Rio Hato, Playa Blanca, as toxic smoke wafted over the beaches because of a garbage pile being set on fire.
The second-biggest swimming pool in the world was empty and barely visible from any distance because of the poisonous fumes.
Tourists from France, Canada and Germany and other parts of the world aborted their stay at the Playa Blanca resort, commenting that they couldn't believe that the authorities had not solved a problem that affects one of the country's most important industries and sources of income, reports La Prensa.
What these tourists don't know, of course, is that our tourism minister is a suspected arms and drugs dealer, together with much of his family.