We almost forgot it ourselves, but it's our birthday! Five years ago, Bananama Republic launched. More or less. We can't really be sure any more, because we suffered endless hack attacks and server trouble, as more and more shady people felt offended by our coverage of them.
We were, for example, booted from host PanamaSpace, after we had linked to a picture of an explosion in a story about Templar Panama, a crooked - and now defunct - real estate outfit headed by one Gonzalo de la Guardia. He spun that link as a threat with terrorism, as his office was below the Russian embassy in Panama. Lesson learned: Sarcasm and irony do not work with Panamanian pompous rabiblanco pricks. But in the end, he lost his business while we simply changed servers.
Same with a scheme called Emerald Passport - remember them? We had the former Ku Klux Klan Canadian Grand Master here in the Gamboa resort, selling some multi-level marketing get-rich-quick deal in a scheme that was headed first by Alonso de la Guardia (yes, family) and then by Jaime Figueroa. The latter wanted to be tourism minister in Panama, and frankly, it was us who saved his political ass, so to speak, by warning him about the KKK involvement so he could resign. But of course never a thank you. Alas, he didn't get to be minister, and Emerald Passport collapsed. And we're still here.
What else happened? We survived several criminal cases filed against us for "crimes against the honor". We were followed around and filmed by Brett Mikkelson on behalf of his latest con man client, Monte Friesner. We were in the Top 5 best blogs of the Panama Travel News. Don Winner was stupid then and is getting more stupid by the day in what seems like an irreversible process of decomposing. Vivian de Torrijos presumably a member of Scientology, now that was something new, but at least not as macabre as the old tarts of Panamanian politics drooling over corpses. Entirely in character, on the other hand, was Kevin Bradley trying to make a buck off massive floods all over the country. Martinelli got elected and quickly turned out to be the worst president ever since Noriega, who came in from the cold in a weird circus act. Tom McMurrain is out of jail and wants to sell you a country. Homer W. Forster is out of jail and changed his name, this time legally. We covered the wikileaks saga as it pertained to Panama. And so on!
So now you wonder - a bit embarrassed because you forgot - what would they like to have for their birthday over at Bananama Republic? How nice of you to ask! Cause, now that you mention it, we really, really could use a new, good fast computer in our newsroom. We'd also like a motorcycle. And guns, lots of guns. Anyway, we're sure you'll figure something out. Since you will no doubt have your hands full with presents, it's best to push the doorbell with your nose.
Seriously though: Thank you for all your support, and we'd like to know: What was your most memorable story of the last five years?
Feliz cumpleaños. Lot’s of good reporting Okke hope to see you in the interior soon, where “they” runaround unchecked.
Congratulations! Entertaining. Smart. Brave. Informative.
tell us what you got as presents already, as we wouldn’t want to duplicate any gifts
Particularly happy with the new camera. We still need the new kick-ass computer. Let me know where and when!