You may not know this, dear reader, but we journalists get bombarded all the time with all kind of indexes and rankings and such from NGO's where armies of people do nothing but make lists. On these lists, they order countries on various subjects, and then they release those lists, with fancy names and reports with graphs showing data and tons of useless analysis. We get those on corruption, press freedom, quality of living, human development - to name just a few examples.
The latest in this avalanche comes from the World Economic Forum (plutocrats who meet in Davos every year) and is called The Global Information Technology Report 2012 - Living in a Hyperconnected World. What is it about? It seems they have discovered that we live in a connected world, and this poses, in NGO speak, challenges which need to be mapped and so on:
Over the past decade, the world has become increas- ingly hyperconnected. We live in an environment where the Internet and its associated services are accessible and immediate, where people and businesses can com- municate with each other instantly, and where machines are equally interconnected with each other. This hyper- connectivity is deeply redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and enterprises, and citizens and governments; it is introducing new opportunities but also new challenges and risks in terms of individual rights and privacy, security, cybercrime, the flow of personal data, and access to information. As a result, our economies and societies will undergo fundamental transformations. Mastering and leveraging these transformations to maximize the positive impacts and increase resilience against the risks that ICT can bring to the economy, society, environment, and healthcare are crucial for boosting economic competitiveness and well-being. The present edition of The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) analyzes in detail the main drivers and impacts of this ICT-enabled hyperconnected world and contributes to the work of the World Economic Forum’s recently launched Hyperconnected World Initiative, which establishes a holistic means of understanding the systemic nature of change in a hyperconnected world.
It goes on like this forever. Download the whole thing here if you really want to torture yourself. Is there actually anything of interest in this report? Yes. Despite all the hype and fluff, we a sort of like those indexes because they always prove us right. We say Panama is a corrupt country and zinnnnng - Transparency International releases an index showing that Panama is a corrupt country. We say that Northern European social democracy provides the most happiness and quality of living and kaboom! - rankings show we weren't bullshitting. And so on.
This time, it's the legal system. Avid readers of this humble website know that we have little good to say about Panama's judiciary, the public ministry or the lawyers cartel. They're corrupt, have no clue what they're doing, they don't know their own laws and you're lucky if they can spell your name right. And guess what? The data of the World Economic Forum supports our opinion!
In judicial independence, Panama ranks 16th out of 19 Latin American countries - only Nicaragua, Paraguay and Venezuela are worse. In the world, Panama occupies the 133th place out of 142 countries. Even in Syria, Chad and Kazakhstan the judiciary is more independent than in Panama. We live in a judicial shithole, dear readers, a legal hell where nothing ever works and money is thicker than blood.
This is of course all good news for investment. Big multinational companies love countries where there is no rule of law and everything can be done through paying bribes. Normal people, on the other hand, are just screwed. But that we knew already without this report. (Hat tip to Erick Simpson Aguilera)
The Panama court system is nothing more then an auction.
Anybody and go to court for any reason. And no matter what that reason, you can always buy yourself out of it. Only when someone else bids more then you will be delayed. Attorneys are never sought or prosper for their knowledge of the law, that is completely useless in Panama, they are only sought out for their ability to know judges. And the judges always are accessible. Just go to Cafe Bolivar or Monolos and you can hear everything in the court house.
So if you loose one battle, no problem, just appeal and it all is frozen and try at the next level. Loose that, no problem, just say its unconstitutional and again you lock it up for another few years. Eventually, you will find someone on your side or your opponent will become tired of paying the other side.
The more money you are precipitous to have, the longer it takes. The more money you are asked to pay, the more your attorney keeps under the table.
Basically, there is no law, no order, and no judicial security. Anyone would have to be crazy to do any transaction in Panama. One bureaucratic can stop all the flights on COPA airlines or any attorney can stop a vessel from going through the Canal while a meaningless lawsuit is presented.
If anyone can prove me wrong, please do!
Not to mention the judge with the fake diploma. The attorneys (glorified notary’s in the developed world) with their $UP$ diplomas and of course no bar exam needed.
Moving on into the interior where amistad is worth sometimes more that money this explains how known provincial, district, town criminal families with little in terms of cash for lawyers or bribes of any significance can operate freely with total immunity regardless of the party in power.
Yes, my advice is to never go to court just like our great editor. Send someone to review it, they will never notify you of anything – they use certified mail from the Panama mail system. And we all know that they have not delivered a package since 1903. So don’t go there yourself. If they try to serve you notice to your office, tell them that you can’t receive it. Trust me, this judges and secretaries misspelled your name or company in the first place. They never finished school. Which will come in handy if they ever file a impediment against you, trust me, it is misspelled as well. A friend of mine told me that he has never seen one actually done correctly.
People have no idea just how bad it is. Everyone is on sale. They are on sale to both sides. These people don’t know how to read or write and there are no consequences to the corruption. The corrupt just get rich and celebrate their so called “professional achievements”.
Everybody in the Panamanian judicial system is a common criminal or a thug. Corruption earns top dollar in the form of huge bribes and most lawyers sell their clients off like cattle at an auction. At the end of the day, everyone celebrates the big win at the expense of the only loser. The client.
Panamanian Judicial system is simply legalized highway robbery and no one is interested in changing it. On the contrary, it is a source of great pride and the butt of their own jokes.
Shameful but true.
This just not only indicative of the police, Legal, court, and governmental systems here in Panama!
Try doing any type of Business with the Insurance companies,construction supply houses or even the Banks!
Without a proper Postal system, proper street address system and signage, what real hope is their for Panama in the 21st Century!
“Panama where any numbers given out becomes an Actuality.”
“As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities”
“Panama where the numbers never add up”