There used to be this joke, during the dark days of the dictatorship in Panama, something to the effect that from now on human intelligence was no longer measured in IQ points, but in "tar". A genius would thus be a megatar. An averagely intelligent person would be a meditar. And a total retard, utterly dumb complete idiot would then be a militar.
And that is still true today. Take, for example, former general Jacinto Tom Aleman. After the dictatorship ended, he went on to work for the police, and was director of the El Renacer prison in Gamboa. But today, he's the director of SENAN, a sort of Air Force and Navy combined, Panama style. They are the guys who work from these new "anti-narcotics" bases to kill innocent teenagers and get away with it and steal drugs and take bribes for free passage combat drug trafficking. And for our Jacinto, this is as if the old days are finally back!
Now you must know, dear reader, that in Latin America they have this machismo honor complex, and those who join the armed forces or the police logically have even more of it. One of the visual signs of this third world male inferiority trauma is the urge to dress themselves in hotel porter uniforms with lots of gold (fake) stuff and stars and buttons and stripes and maybe even a saber. Ricardo Martinelli, whose real life experience goes little beyond managing a grocery store and launder some drug money, makes up for it by cross-dressing as a sub-Saharan airline pilot. And in the case of Jacinto, he wears a uniform that makes him look like he's driving the limousine at Panama's first gay marriage. You think he looks like a pompous third world prick? Yes, and so does the rest of the sane world. But not Jacinto. He thinks it looks great, and has people call him "General", even though Panama has no Generals any more, and La Estrella explains he couldn't be a two star General even if we had.
Of course it's not nice to make fun of an old man who is clearly demented and wants to play soldier. Maybe he can be quietly removed and placed under professional care. Or maybe that is already what this is, an Alzheimer patient running a hapless and corrupt toy mini-army as a form of therapy?
UPDATE: Yes, we found another one of these clowns, of course in the Policia Nacional (warning: worst web design EVER!). Meet Jaime Antonio Ruiz, who is sub-director general. You see how that works with these golden decorations and stuff? Can you take my luggage to the 7th floor please? And get me a taxi when I come back?