Panama Public Debt Update

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Panama closed out November with over $18 billion in public debt. According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, this represents a decrease of $83.1 million compared to the previous month, but $2.36 billion more than the balance at the end of November 2013. The decrease is partly due to the dollar’s relationship with the…

New Construction Permit for Hotel Central

The Mayor’s Office has issued a new construction permit to the Spanish developers of Casco Viejo’s Hotel Central. Work on the remodel was suspended in October because the project  had not transferred the construction permit from Canval Panama, no longer the builder for the  project – a violation of Municipal Agreement No. 116, article 45. In addition, a…

Panama Crime Series, Part 100

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Police break up “Kill the Nasty” gang – Early Tuesday morning, police raided the Kill the Nasty gang, based out of Street 17 in Rio Abajo and linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Main gang leader Jorge Zurita, also known as El Pibe (The Kid) was arrested, as well two other leaders – El Gordo…

State Will Spend $68.2 Million on Office Space

The government has allocated $68.2 million this year for office rent for state agencies. Previous governments have considered proposals to reduce rental costs by building a government city, and one of the last actions of the Ricardo Martinelli administration was to launch a tendering process for a $400 million contract for the mega project. Pre-approved construction companies included Constructora Norberto Odebrecht,…

Panama Pays Big for Morocco Gift

In July, Panama received Morocco’s first donation: 2,800 metric tons of NPK 12-24-14 fertilizer in 141 20-foot containers, packed in 56,400 50-kg bags. The donation also included the cost of shipping, but there was a delay in registering the shipment due to the change in government and missing safety and health papers, translating to $988,762.50 in product storage fees…

Cultural Institute Orders Removal of Mermaids in Casco Viejo

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Upon orders, the Manolo Caracol restaurant in Casco Viejo painted over a large mural on its facade of two colorful mermaids by Panamanian artist Rolo de Sedas. On Wednesday, the National Cultural Institute (INAC) gave the restaurant five days to comply with regulations for the restoration of Panama’s old town, which prohibit the painting of signs or other graphic expression…