Turmoil today in the media: One of Panama's kangaroo courts convicted two journalists of criminal libel and slander against immigration officials. The two, Justino Gonzalez and Sabrina Bacal, were held responsible for reporting that there was a criminal investigation involving these immigration officials for corruption. That story was true, it wasn't proven not to be true, but that didn't stop the "court" from condemning the journalists to a $6000 fine and prohibiting them from working as journalists for a year.
Yes, you read that right, these banana benders forbid them to work as journalists because of a story that was and is entirely true.
That same night, president Martinelli added insult to injury by announcing he would pardon the two journalists - which means that they're still considered guilty of a crime that they didn't commit.
Today, he worsened things by lecturing journalists on how they should do their jobs - which basically came down to him saying that they should stop lecturing him on how to do his job.
So, as it stands now, the courts can issue these ridiculous sentences for crimes that weren't committed and then we depend on the benevolence of our crime boss president to be pardoned or not. That's not a state of law or democracy; it's a rotting corpse.
We received word today that the prosecution will take a criminal complaint filed by Canadian fraud artist, money launderer and serial scammer Monte Friesner to trial. Earlier, the personera ordered us to take some articles down to "protect the victims" - something we didn't do and will not do for obvious reasons.
Also, given the way the courts operate in Panama in press freedom issues, there is no way we are going to dignify their mad circus acts by attending their show trials or complying with any sentences. No offense, but there is no reason in the acting of the courts or the authorities that prompts us to take them seriously or recognize their authority any more than we recognize the authority of the baboons in the zoo.