Panama: Jailed ex-president barred from May elections. : Weekly News Roundup, April 29th, 2019

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Panama: Jailed ex-president barred from May elections.

Panama’s electoral court has ruled that jailed ex-President Ricardo Martinelli may not participate in May general elections.

Martinelli has been behind bars on charges of political espionage since being extradited from the U.S. last June.

The 67-year-old who governed from 2009 to 2014 was nevertheless able to secure candidacies for mayor of Panama City and for the national legislature. He has led some polls on the mayoral race.

After the ruling was made public Friday, Martinelli’s lawyer said there would be an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Martinelli blamed President Juan Carlos Varela for the decision, saying in a message released online that he “always knew Varela would never let me run and win overwhelmingly for any public office.”

Source: City News

Panama’s voters are angry, but politicians are not offering fundamental change.

Panama is among the luckier countries in Latin America. Drug-traffickers mostly bypass the isthmus, preferring to ship cocaine to the United States through northerly neighbours.

A forest protected the country from Colombia’s long-running insurgencies. Its canal provided $1.7bn to the treasury last year, an eighth of the government’s budget. Panama’s citizens are the second-richest in Latin America. Thanks partly to the canal, its economy is the fastest-growing. The social safety-net is generous by regional standards and life expectancy matches that in the United States.

Source: The Economist

Robert Brazeau builds entire village out of plastic bottles in Panama.

Located in the island of Bocas del Toro, Panama, the plastic bottle village by Robert Bezeau is an initiative that seeks to reduce plastic waste and reuse it by incorporating it in the construction of homes. Bezeau has collected millions of plastic bottles, which he then used to build a series of structures, including a castle and dungeon, inviting visitors to have a vacation where they can learn more about recycling, up-cycling, and other actions they can take to ‘repent’ for their plastic waste crimes.

Through his plastic bottle village, Bezeau wants to educate more people on how they can reuse their plastic waste, while he has enlisted a series of applications that they can be used for, such as: home insulation, rapid temporary shelters after disasters, buildings for animal’s on farms, swimming pools, barns, roads, and more. the startup eco-village has been up-cycling Isla Colón’s PET plastic waste into an educational center, museum, eco-homes that are up for sale, and a retreat destination.

Source: Design Boom


Looking for a quiet mountain community? Check out Volcan!

Retirement in Panama is big these days, and there are many communities that cater to expats of all ages and budgets. The western mountains of Panama have long been a top retirement destination for both expats and locals, especially Boquete. But recently, and under the radar of many, another local town in Chiriqui has been quietly becoming the ideal destination to settle down in Panama.

Volcan is appealing to expats, especially retirees, for many of the same reasons Boquete is. It’s nestled in the heart of the western sierras of Panama, about 45 minutes from David, and a 7-hour ride from Panama City (40 min flight via David). It’s called “Volcan” (Volcano in Spanish) because it’s located right at the foot of Panama’s biggest volcano, Volcan Baru. The location is remote, and that seems to be the draw for a lot of people. Volcan truly has unique scenery for Panama. It’s cool and dry (68-75 F) with lush green fields, bright colored flowers, and plants covering nearly every open space in the area. It’s visually stunning, and temperate enough not to need A/C or heat. If you’re an outdoors person this truly is your place.

Source: POLS Blog


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As one of the leading Panama Law Firms, and one of the regions most reliable offshore service providers, POLS Attorneys brings a wide range of professional knowledge to our clients needs. Our staff is made up of professional offshore consultants, Panama attorneys and immigration specialists who are experienced in offshore business, understand international investment and asset protection strategies, and are experts in providing a seamless Panama immigration process.

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