We are a year away from the next elections, but already things look very promising in the ongoing vulgarization of Panamanian politics.
No, we are not talking about Chello Galvez, the self-proclaimed "sexual buffalo", or Jose Blandon; Monte Friesner's candidate for the alcaldia. Today it's about Bobby Velasquez, who not only uses lipstick but who, in 2009, also ran as David Murcia's candidate for mayor of Panama City.
Murcia now sits in jail, and Velasquez is trying to become the PRD candidate for mayor again.
In an unsourced audio recording that is circulating on the web, Velasquez can be heard in a meeting with unknown PRD goons. He tells them that he wants one of his opponents, José Luis Fábrega, in the hospital, "with broken legs".
"This time they're not gonna catch me with my pants down", Velasquez can be heard saying. He also warns against using the phone because it is tapped.
President Martinelli was the first to alert the nation to the existence of the recording - which makes one wonder where it came from - and he sarcastically offered police protection for all PRD pre-candidates who are fighting among themselves. Velasquez himself called the release of the audio "dirty campaigning", but did not deny the content. (UPDATE: In a statement today, he said he was "joking". However, the audio itself suggests no joking going on. Furthermore, he claims the audio was edited. But it can't be both; you can't maintain that you were joking and then say that it was all edited together from something that wasn't really said. So, as a result, nobody believes him).
Meanwhile, the perredista presidential hopeful Juan Carlos Navarro is ahead in the polls. With the PRD folks up to their old tricks again, the future looks really bright for our nation should they indeed win.
UPDATE 2: Part two of the recorded audio has been released! Anyone up to make us a transcript?
UPDATE 3: And he's out. Velasquez just announced at a press conference that he's leaving the race for the mayor's office. He sank himself faster than even Murcia could five years ago!