REMEMBER the Paitilla park land deal? It went something like this. Piece of land, reclaimed from the sea and owned by the state, in Paitilla, mysteriously ends up in hands of poor florist. Then it mysteriously ends up in the hands of the gentlemen Btesh and Virzi, who are buddies and business partners with Ricardo Martinelli in all kinds of murky schemes. Then La Prensa found out about it, so they all got really angry with La Prensa for screwing up their deals.
The land now back in the hands of the state, it was decided that it would be turned into a park. So they spent a bunch of money on that, and then it was time for the festive opening.
Entered the scene Mayin Correa. Former mayor, and then governor of the province of Panama. Formerly sucking up to Manuel Antonio Noriega; now Martinelli's bitch. Someone who gives new meaning and depth to the terms "opportunist" and "hypocrite". And, oh yes, she also likes to sling antisemitic slurs at journalists, calling Flor Mizrachi of La Prensa a "litle jewgirl from the Gestapo." Indeed: This woman is a serious case.
Since for some mysterious reason the province had paid for the new park, Correa spoke at the opening ceremony which was attended by Martinelli's wife and a collection of other hot shots. Wrote La Prensa in one of the best opening paragraphs I've seen there last year (translation by us):
"In the absence of President Martinelli but with a member of the presidential guard taking pictures of journalists and strong smells of feces and ocean wafting over the crowd, the National Government inaugurated the Mirador Paitilla park. "With the lights switched on, you will believe to be in Paris," an emotional Mayin Correa told journalists before the inauguration began."
After the ceremony, the fresh little piece of Paris on the banks of Panama's open sewage system was quickly abandoned, and lots of people complained about the deplorable state of the facilities.
So, with Martinelli and Correa all gone, was that the end of the story then? Nope. Because it turned out today that the park wasn't really called Mirador Paitilla after all, but shows up in the official registries as parque Mayín Correa. Nobody knows how that happened, except of course Mrs. Correa herself, but she doesn't answer her phone any more after initially blowing off the La Prensa journalist who asked her about it.
Vice-mayor Raisa Banfield announced that it will be investigated how the park got its name and that Mrs. Correa may very well lose bragging rights over it.
There was, according to La Prensa, a widely supported idea to name the park after ex-president Endara, but we think it's an insult to name such a foul-smelling abandoned place after someone who actually defied Noriega instead of sucking up to him.
May we humbly suggest that we leave the name as it is, the Mayin Correa park, as a monument to empty-headed vanity and corruption? What's more, we'd propose a statue of Mrs. Correa, her wrinkly old ass nude and squatting near the riverbank to take a dump. And then in the evening, when they switch the lights on, it will feel just like Panama.