Valentín Palacios has been missing for over a month after being taken by the police. The situation in Panama is now so bad, and the opposition and the media so lame, that when the police disappears somebody this now generates far less response than during the dictatorship when opposition was more dangerous.
Human Rights Everywhere (HREV) presented a report Wednesday as a result of its investigation of events in Bocas del Toro surrounding the strike of banana plantation workers and the subsequent repression by the police. And the data they offer once again confirms the chilling picture we're all too familiar with by now of death, hundreds of wounded, torture, arbitrary arrests, lack of medical care, and one disappeared person last seen being taken away by a police force that behaved like a bunch of rabid animals.
"Rather than trying to shift the blame, Panamanian authorities should ensure that those responsible for the abuses are brought to justice," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. "The special commission could help clarify what happened, but it is no substitute for criminal prosecutions."
"Wild Bill" and his charming wife/girlfriend have been caught while trying to enter Nicaragua in a hijacked boat. This will solve at least a couple of murder cases in Bocas as well as some missing person mysteries, but the majority of the guilty in recent killing sprees remains at large.
As if we don't have enough dead people in Bocas del Toro already because of Wild Bill and Wild Ricardo; today we can add another missing person to the mix. Yes, dear reader, it's just like the old times in Panama, the police takes someone off the streets and we never hear from him again!
SUNTRACS leader Sául Méndez isn’t slowing down the struggle, and today announced yet another initiative against the corporate interests that threaten the livelihoods of working people: He’s taking on the media.