Look at these faces and remember them. They're the legislators, all 36 of them (actually 41 voted for it, we'll get the other 5 pictures too for this gallery of rogues), who approved today in second debate the ley chorizo, the law that gives impunity to policemen who commit crimes, eliminates environmental protection so that mining companies and others who pay enough bribes to Martinelli et al can do what they want, and reduces the right to strike of workers - and all that under the pretext of "promoting aviation".
With the majority of the National Assembly behaving as if they're the board of directors of Ricamar, this is another giant step towards the implementation of corporate rule in Panama - which is also known as "fascism". There's one difference though, and that is that in our case there is the added component of drug trafficking and money laundering that surrounds Martinelli and his gang, so it's more like narco-fascism that we're seeing here.
Former PTJ chief Jaime Abad warned already that this law puts the door wide open to the formation of death squads by the police. Union leaders and constitutional experts are expressing similar fears.
Today, like yesterday, it was chaos in the assembly, and one rule after the other was broken by those who dominate that madhouse. Contrary to what they had been promised yesterday, activists and representatives of civil society weren't allowed in, and it was only with help from PRD legislators acting as bodyguards that they made it through the government-imposed police blockade to the inside. We have to mention here Leandro Ávila, who not only made sure that environmentalists could enter the building of their supposed representatives, but who also seemed to be one of the few who dared to call a spade a spade in the debate.
Tomorrow, Saturday, they'll hold the third and last debate about this narco-fascist law proposal. Civil society and the unions are calling upon everyone to be there, at the national assembly, at 9AM. They also call to flood the assembly's president Varela's cellphones with text and voice messages. The numbers are 6672-8836 and 6670-9836.
Got to give it to Martinelli. He sure doesn’t waste time. So few months in power so many human rights abolished.
I can’t imagine the police gorillas with this type of impunity. It is really scary. At least Torrijos and to a lesser degree Noriega relied on the support of the masses.
What we have here is a much less populist type dictator who will trample Fulano Detal in the calle. Los locos somos mas, pero de verdad. The joke is on us, we thought they were crazy in a cute Panamanian way… but Oh No!
This is crazy like Pinochet, Fujimori, Batista, Rios Montt, torture, headless bodies, disappearances, bad horror movie type crazy.
We are early witnesses to that horrible human phenomenon, the spiral of power feeding on itself and all reality being lost. Unless checked soon Panama will rapidly become a police state with all the accoutrements.
This site is very gutsy to be confronting all this like this. Good work. But be careful of these goons.
Even politicians can be murdered by the police as they carry out their duties with no threat of legal liability. I guess members of the assembly don’t realize their lofty positions do not make them immujne to bullets.
@Faustino: It is indeed eerily reminiscent of Fujimori, even more so now that Mulino is about to assume his new role as minister of security, the Panamanian version of Vladimiro Montesinos.
I just hope they end up in a similar way as their Peruvian counterparts.
Meanwhile, Martinelli can forget about a Free Trade Agreement with the US if he skips environmental protection off the menu, I mean, with BP and all that, no way it’s gonna be ratified. This law actually violates the agreement.
Similarly, when Martinelli’s term ends, so does the life of his political party. Cambio Democratico is just Martinelli. There’s no successor. They don’t have anyone people will vote for, on the contrary. So, I think that what’s happening in the University (reelection referendum) is a test balloon for such an initiative to allow Martinelli to run for another term. Panama better brace itself.
Shame on you “padres de la patria”
These Laws shall be a boomerang against you and your children…
What the hell happened to Panama? How is it possible that so much of the country’s legal character has been destroyed in such a short period of time with so little resistance? To give police immunity is a disaster waiting to happen: uneducated, underpaid and now with immunity? Bad combination. What’s worse is how do you rein that extravagance of power once this current political term is over? This is a precedent that has (as mentioned above) been set in other countries in this region without positive results. This guy has turned out to be such a right-wing madman that there must be people kicking themselves every day they voted for him. De guatemala guatepeor.
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