Politics

Moncada Luna Pleads Guilty to Corruption

Former Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna was sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and illicit enrichment. He will also have to give up two apartments valued at $1.7 million, $4.6 million in bank accounts and three luxury vehicles. Appointed by former President Ricardo Martinelli in 2010, Moncada was suspended in October when…

Colombia Takes Panama Off Tax Haven List

Colombia excluded Panama from its list of tax havens after agreeing to negotiations to avoid double taxation. This wraps up two weeks of tenuous discussions, which began when Colombia included Panama in its list of tax havens, published on October 8, which implied penalties on transactions for Panamanian companies in Colombia. Panama threatened reciprocal measures and set a deadline for removing its…

New Government Will Review Mandatory Ethanol Use

President-elect Juan Carlos Varela says that his administration will revisit the law that mandates the use of ethanol in gasoline. The government of Ricardo Martinelli enacted Law 42 of 2011 as an incentive to the biofuel industry, but this has pushed gas prices up. La Prensa reports that the Central Azucarero La Victoria company, in which…

Panama Elects Varela as President

Outgoing vice president Juan Carlos Varela is Panama’s next president. The electoral tribunal declared Varela and his Panamenista Party the victor with 39% of the vote and 60% of the ballots counted, followed by Jose Domingo Arias of the Cambio Democratico party with 32% and Juan Carlos Navarro of the People’s Revolutionary Democratic party with 27%. “Today democracy won, today Panama won,…

Political Rally Generates Trash

The Cinta Costera was worse for wear after the closing campaign rally for  the Democratic Change Party. Thousands of people gathered on the grounds of the coastal strip near the bay to hear candidate Jose Domingo Arias promise “improved continuance” of the works of outgoing president Ricardo Martinelli. Friday morning, workers of the Urban and Household Waste Authority…